Centralized middle school basketball teams to begin in Logan School District
By Jim Turner

Posted on March 29, 2019 11:54 AM

Beginning with the 2019-20 basketball season, Logan County will field district middle school basketball teams, Logan County High School Principal Caycee Spears has announced. There will be 7th grade and 8th grade teams for both the boys and the girls with practices and home games at LCHS.

The five county middle schools will continue to have basketball teams as in the past. The schools will also have their season-ending tournament.

Ever since Logan County High School opened in 1982 by consolidating the five existing high schools, the middle schools have fielded teams which not only competed with each other but with other area schools. Those teams then played a tournament in late January.

The middle school teams have played a big role in keeping communities alive, especially in Olmstead and Chandlers Chapel, which aren’t located in or near a town. The tournament was for decades one of the most popular events in the Land of Logan with crowds attending those games rivaling the high school district tournament for spirit and attendance.

In recent years, though, the tournament hasn’t drawn as much attention. Six of the eight games are all played in one day.

Meanwhile it has been difficult at times for LCHS freshmen teams to be competitive early because they are going against players who have also been teammates in middle school.

LCHS Athletic Director Greg Howard says that Logan is the only school district in the Fourth Region with the top middle school players not all on the same team. “We may have been the only district doing that in the Second and Third regions, too,” he adds,

The new middle school teams will be chosen during fall tryouts. They will practice and play at LCHS, mostly in the big gym the high school plays in. Only seventh and eighth graders will be eligible. Coaches have not been hired yet, but they will work closely with their high school programs to build continuity.

The athletes who try out for the district teams but don’t get chosen then can try out for their squads at their own schools. Players younger than seventh grade are also eligible to try out for the home teams.

All planning is a work in progress, but Howard foresees the teams at each school playing eight games—home and away against the other four schools in the district. They won’t play out-of-district opponents. Most likely the seasons at those schools will end with a tournament in December.

Junior pro leagues will also be held at each school, probably for third through fifth graders. The middle school coaches will be in charge of junior pro rather than parents and other members of the public overseeing the youth leagues.

Cheerleaders will continue be chosen at each school. Not only will they cheer for the school they attend, but each of the five teams will also cheer for a selected district middle school basketball game or doubleheader. The cheer teams will also build spirit at a middle school football game each. “We haven’t had cheerleaders for the middle school teams, so this will be an addition,” Howard says.

“Our goal is to continually provide the best opportunities for our students,” Greg Howard said. “With this configuration, even more students will have the opportunity to participate in this sport.

“It’s a work in progress. This will be a year of transition, but it’s an exciting time in Logan County sports.”


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