March 11, 2004 — This weekend on St. Croix's basketball courts, the boys and girls come out to play: The V.I. Basketball Federation will host the Law Enforcement Planning Commission's Delinquency Prevention Junior Varsity Territorial Basketball championships.
JV teams throughout the territory have been playing for the past several months, and both districts have declared champions. On St. Croix, the Junior Varsity Boys Champion is St. Croix Country Day School and the Junior Varsity Girls Champion is John H. Woodson Junior High. In the St. Thomas/St. John District, Bertha B. Boschulte Junior High are the girls' champion, and Charlotte Amalie High's Junior Varsity Boys are tops.
The four teams are meeting at the Ronald Charles Arena on the St. Croix Central High campus for a weekend of competition and a luncheon with anti-drug and anti-violence keynote messages. The luncheon is mandatory for all participants — including players, coaches, managers, and assistants.
Action starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 12, with the Boschulte girls taking on the Woodson girls. Following right after, the Charlotte Amalie boys will take on the Country Day boys.
The same match-ups start at 7:30 Saturday.
The competition is best two-of-three games and, if necessary, the third games will be played at noon Sunday to determine the territory champion.
The St. Thomas young people are traveling on the Fast Ferry, and staying at the Hotel Frederiksted. The top age allowed for JV players is 15.
The community coming out to support the young people is important. A small admission fee will be charged each day. For more information call 712-2320 or 772-9524.
It just so happens, Sen. Usie Richards, who's president of the Basketball Federation, said in a telephone interview, that the timing is right at the start of a schedule of events sponsored by LEPC grants. Three years ago LEPC grants started funding activities aimed at spreading the word on anti-drugs and anti-violence to young people, and this year events are planned right across the summer, from March through August. Full funding of this tournament is first on that agenda.
Richards ticked off former youth sports activities – the Vernon Scipio territorial championship was varsity only; Housing Parks and Recreation sponsored Youth Games for junior high and elementary in several sports, but only every two years. So the plan is to revive sports events and provide other activities, all through LEPC grants.
The weekend of March 19-21, Richards said, the varsity championship games will be played in a similar format at the Mark C. Marin Center at Antilles School on St. Thomas. A luncheon with a "Giving Up the Love" message to that older age group will be part of the program.
In coming months, Senior Judge Arthur L. Burnett Sr. from the District of Columbia, who is also chairman of the National Bar Association Task Force on Juvenile Justice Issues, will speak, and Dr. Cooper Luther of the University of South Carolina Columbia will come for the week of April 20-28 and present at all the territory's public junior high schools.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.