By Steve Ritchie
Schlador Street campus gym
802 Schlador St., Silverton
Oct. 18, 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Boys, 4-6th Oct. 19, 5 – 8:30 p.m. Girls, 4-6th
Oct. 20, 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Boys, 7-8th Oct. 21, 5 – 8:30 p.m. Girls, 7-8th
Parents of kids who like putting round balls through 10-foot high baskets might want to circle Oct. 18-21 on their calendars. Those are the tryout dates for the new Silverton Youth Basketball Association teams for fourth through eighth-grade students.
SYBA President Jennifer Côté said the association was the brainchild of a group of parents whose kids have played competitive basketball. Their collective experience was that teams were usually formed around an interested parent(s), their child and his or her friends. The new program, which has been 18 months in the making, aims to change that informal approach, and open it up to more young people.
“This association was formed to provide competitive basketball for boys and girls in grades 4-8 and to open up the opportunity to everyone in the community,” Côté said. “The idea is to complement the (school) basketball programs that already exist. “
Côté emphasizes that the new teams should not interfere with participation in school sports for those children who participate.
“Our objective is to work around the school team schedules that exist and encourage youth to participate in school sports,” she said.
SYBA is open to any child in grades 4-8 who attends school in the Silver Falls or the Mount Angel School districts. Parents will find the necessary registration form at www.silvertonhoop.com, the SYBA’s website. They can return it to SYBA, P.O. Box 742, Silverton, OR, 97381 or bring it to the tryouts.
The season for the SYBA teams will run from the beginning of practices in late-October or early-November until mid-March. The games will be played on weekends in a tournament format throughout the mid-Valley area, Côté said. A team will play in an average of five tournaments during the season, with multiple games in each tournament.
Teams will be formed using the tryout process. Each young hoopster will be evaluated on their “basketball skills and abilities,” and the tryout will include a live scrimmage.
“The (school) varsity programs are assisting in the evaluation process, and the board has developed other skill-based criteria to make sure the process is open, fair and consistent for all kids who try out,” Côté said.
Both Silverton High School varsity coaches are enthused about the new program.
“The earlier that kids learn the fundamentals, get game experience at a competitive level, and have fun playing basketball, the better they will be prepared to play at the high school level. There’s no question that youth getting this level of coaching and competition will make the high school programs stronger,” Silverton High Girls Head Coach Garron Lamoreau said.
SHS Boys Head Coach Darren Shryock added that coaching at Silverton High can be a little more difficult because of the number of different schools that feed into the high school.
“From an academic and social standpoint, it is excellent, but it proves challenging to run a cohesive basketball program,” Shryock said. “The SYBA provides a much needed solution to that challenge. Kids from all over the district will be able to grow up playing basketball together. They will receive coaching that is aligned with the high school philosophy.”
Beyond just helping the high school programs succeed, Shryock also sees many benefits for the young people who will be involved.
“SYBA will allow kids to simply enjoy a great game. . . playing basketball growing up provides so many life lessons it will be invaluable for all kids. The feeder schools in Silverton have done a super job of getting kids involved, SYBA will give them just one more opportunity to excel in a tremendous game,” he said.
The cost of participating on a SYBA team is $150. Côté says scholarships are available for those with financial need.