Despite social media rumors, elementary basketball and cheerleading programs will be offered in the McCreary County School District this fall, although in a slightly different format than in the past.
Last week a letter from Athletic Director Robert Jones and the elementary principals informed parents that the District would be offering basketball clinics for the students this year.
Some parents apparently took the letter to mean that the clinics would replace intramural games, but Superintendent Mike Cash said that was never the intent.
“We never had the intention of eliminating elementary games,” Cash said. “The letter states that ‘games, competitions, and drills’ would be included.”
Jones, and Cash said this week that the clinics are designed to teach fundamentals to both the students and coaches of the elementary basketball programs, to better align the youth programs with the ones offered at the middle school and high school.
“We want to incorporate our high school and middle school coaches, and even the high school payers, to teach the kids fundamentals so they are better prepared to play competitive basketball at the higher levels,” Jones said.
“Coaches Jimmy Voight and Todd Watters (high school boys and girls coaches) have a wealth of experience that they will be able to offer the younger players and try to start them off going in the right direction for the future of all McCreary County basketball programs,” he added.
“It is a positive change for the kids of our District to get fundamental teaching from experienced and knowledgeable coaches that will help them as they progress,” Cash said.
The major change, according to Cash, will be that all students and prospective coaches will be required to attend these clinics in order to participate in intramural games this fall.
Cash and Jones planned to meet with the coaches Wednesday to set dates for the clinics, and parents will be informed of the dates as soon as possible.
Cash stated the plan is to have kindergarten through third grade players have at least one clinic before playing at their respective schools. Fourth through sixth grades will have at least two clinics, and will play their games on Saturdays on the main court at McCreary Central. The older children will get more in-depth instruction, with the assistance of players from the high school teams.
Cash said the misinformation shared on social media sites was disturbing, as neither he nor Jones received a phone call from a parent on the issue to clarify the situation.
“Instead of relying on social media, I encourage any parents who have questions to contact the principals or the Central Office,” Cash said. “It was on a Facebook page, not affiliated with the school district, where false information was relayed and caused turmoil.”
“It was brought to my attention that some posts made it seem like we eliminated elementary basketball and cheerleading, but that was never the case,” he said. “Those statements were false.”