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Elementary schools may get basketball
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Elementary schools like Bobby Ray and Hickory Creek could have their own basketball teams in the near future if an idea being floated by the school system takes wings.The idea was introduced by incoming Director of Schools Bobby Cox on Thursday during a strategic planning session to outline plans for the coming school year and beyond.Under the plan, elementary schools such as Hickory Creek, Bobby Ray and West Elementary, none of which have their own basketball programs as K-5 schools, would be allowed to form their own teams and play against each other.Presently fifth-graders at those schools who want to play basketball have to try out for Warren County Middle School. The plan, Cox said, would eliminate fifth-graders from the middle school team and would have the elementary schools form their own 4-5 grade squad.“The idea is to maximize participation,” Cox said in introducing the idea which was met with much interest by the School Board.The plan would mean the middle school would have only sixth-graders, who attend their school, on their sixth-grade team since WCMS is 6-8 grade.School Board member Bob Young said he felt, and that many rural coaches agreed, having the middle school compete against the outlying schools such as Irving College, Eastside, Morrison, Dibrell, and Centertown was unfair because the middle school can draw from all over the county and has a much bigger student body. WCMS started competing in the county league this year.“Well, the middle school didn’t win,” School Board member Jeff Lee noted, pointing out both the girls and boys team from the middle school fell short of championships.Young countered that coaches of other teams had told him they felt the situation was unfair.“We just need an even playing field,” Young said, noting that 90 percent of the players on the high school team once played for the middle school.Lee countered that the tougher competition is something the county schools may benefit from.“Maybe it will get coaches to step up their game,” Lee said.As for the plan, Cox said he intends to get with the county coaches and get their input and then try to see if coaches could be found to head the new programs at West, Bobby Ray and Hickory Creek, all of which already have their own gyms.