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FCYBO returns for second season

By Staff
Kim West
Franklin County Times
VINA – Youth basketball is nothing new to Franklin County, but the introduction of a new league late last year has helped local children experience high-quality basketball.
The Franklin County Youth Basketball Organization was organized by Richie Hester and is sponsored by every county school this year.
"We started with Belgreen, Phil Campbell, Vina and Tharptown last year, and we were able to add Red Bay this year," said Hester, who teaches at Vina High School and also works as a basketball official. "I organized it because there seemed to be need in the county for a centralized league – I had watched these youth teams that couldn't get enough games, and there were problems with scheduling and rules."
Hester said the league serves three main purposes.
"This league provides a centralized schedule, certified high school officials and the same set of rules for every team," he said. "Everyone knows where and when to play."
The final number of teams for the 2008 season won't be available until registration is over, but last year's inaugural season was a success, according to Hester.
"Last year we had 300 kids in seven different categories that played 250 games, so we had a pretty successful year," Hester said. "Now that we have everything done, it's time for the kids to have fun. We would like to have as many kids that are interested in playing basketball because we had a lot of fun last year, and it's good for the kids."
The league's age control date is September 1, and there are separate divisions for boys and girls ages 7-12 and a co-ed division for ages 6-and-under.
The rules for ages 10-and-under promote participation while ensuring kids learn proper basketball skills. The oldest age divisions, boys 12-and-under girls 12-and-under follow high school rules with the exeption of substitutions.
The deadline for players to register has been extended to Friday, December 7.
"After the sign-ups, we'll have a county-wide meeting to turn in rosters and figure out the number of teams we'll need," Hester said.
The league will sponsor a jamboree to tip off the season on Jan. 19 at Belgreen.
"Every team will play in the jamboree, and then we'll have a regular season until the end of February," Hester said. "We'll end the season with a county tournament, which will be held at Tharptown, probably from Feb. 28 until March 1."
The FCYBO meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at Belgreen High School's new gym. For more information about the league, contact a school representative or Hester at 332-3087 or 412-6774.
The school representatives are Charolette Shotts or Timothy Ozbirn (Vina, 331-2260); David Gaston or Ken Hallmark (Tharptown, 332-3404); Amy Moss or Bart Moss (Phil Campbell, 331-2150); Lori Thompson (Belgreen, 332-1376) and Shaun Faulkner (Red Bay, 356-4408).