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Everlasting Joy - Adjusting county basketball
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Legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan has a knack for getting beaten up during a match, then suddenly finding invincible powers. Opponents can punch and kick him, but once the Hulkster becomes invincible, he squashes them like a pesky spider.

Hulk Hogan comes to mind when I think of the WCMS 6th-grade basketball teams. Competing in the Warren County Elementary League, the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers have been unstoppable.

The WCMS boys are coming off a 51-0 win over West Elementary on Monday night. This comes after victories this year by scores such as 46-7, 55-0, and 47-6. The closest game the Pioneers have experienced in the county league is a 40-11 win over Dibrell.

The WCMS 6th-grade girls have been nearly as dominant, winning by scores such as 33-6, 48-5 and 30-2. The closest game for the Lady Pioneers this year has been a 16-point victory.

The lopsided contests have rekindled the age-old question of what to do with WCMS when it comes to competing against other basketball teams in the county. WCMS is much bigger than the outlying schools so the talent pool in which to pick a team is much greater. WCMS also has the power to attract players from other schools because WCMS travels outside the county and faces stiffer completion at the 7-8 grade level.
For those with long memories, there was a time when 7th-graders at WCMS stayed in county and faced the 7-8 grade teams from all the other schools. Now the WCMS 6th-grade team is the only one which competes in county.

The problem with this arrangement is it doesn’t work for anyone involved. Obviously the teams getting pounded by scores of 47-6 aren’t too pleased. I don’t want to lose a game 47-6 and I imagine most people don’t want to be on the wrong end of that one either.

On the flip side, it’s not much of a thrill ride for the winners. The starters aren’t challenged and often only get to play for a quarter before the subs fill in the rest of the way. The subs aren’t challenged either. It’s not an equation for making players at WCMS better.

I know school officials are aware of all these issues and had a hunch they would surface when Hickory Creek, Bobby Ray and West formed basketball teams and were allowed to compete in the league two years ago. The inherent problem is those schools only go up to 5th grade and they are forced to face players one grade older.

School officials I’ve talked with recently have always said the elementary league is a work in progress and they are open to change. I hope they can work toward this change before next season because a game with a final score of 51-0 is a game not worth playing.