CiCi’s pizza boxes lined the front foyer of Italy’s old gym Saturday afternoon. Italy Youth Athletic Association hosted the end-of-the-year basketball bash for all the participants in this year’s season. With pizza, drinks, cookies and, of course, basketball time, the season just wouldn’t be over without the announcements, trophies and honors.
Each basketball player received a trophy and pat on the back, “job well done” by their coaches. All was emceed by Basketball Commissioner, Glen McClendon. The children range in age from 6 to 12 and they learned teamwork and basics of basketball this season. This is the beginning of an Italy Gladiator. IYAA officer, Gary Wood, said, “We had over 90 kids play basketball from this area. It was a great season and we are looking forward to next year.”
Kudos goes to a few teams in particular. Coach Michelle Bravo had first & second graders and they took first place. Coach Elizabeth Evans took first place with her 3rd and 4th grade girls. Coach Ken Norwood was in charge of one of the 5th an 6th grade boys teams, nicknamed Norwood’s Net-Poppers. “I’ve coached these boys for along time. They are gonna make one heck of a ball club!” They also earned a first place trophy. Coach Barry Byers with a team of 5th and 6th grade girls went undefeated 9-0. “I am very proud of the these girls. They practiced hard and earned the Championship.” Coaches Andi Windham’s and Scott Conner’s team took 2nd place in the division. Windham said, “We are very proud of all the boys and their hard work.”
All of these young athletes are to be congratulated for a great 2009 season. They have played their hearts out and learned a lot.
Also present at the party was the Parent Board and IYAA Board Members. They include:
Student volunteers- Brianna Perry and Jake Escamilla
IYAA thanks the parents, coaches and players for their continued support. The Italy School District also has helped the city league and its players be successful. The board would like to extend a special thanks to Tina Haight. Without her, so much could not be accomplished.