By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

LATEXO – Due to time constraints among the coaches at Latexo Independent School District, changes are being made to this year’s Latexo Youth Basketball Association program.

“I know it was the wish of the (school) board that Latexo Youth Basketball continue in the capacity such as we did Little Diggers earlier in the year – that it was a school-maintained program for our kids,” Kris Whisenant, Latexo High School principal and acting athletic director, said Thursday.

Whisenant said before he took over as athletic director, Coach Stanfield had met with the coaches and Gaylene Allen, who heads up Latexo Youth Basketball.

“In theory, it was a wonderful idea, you know, that the school would control all of the aspects of the youth basketball program. When you look at it from a logistical and scheduling point of view, after five meetings with Ms. Allen trying to work out the fine details and numerous texts, the decision was made that it’s not going to function that way,” Whisenant said. “As much as we would like it to, with them being a community-based organization, we cannot have any control over their finances. That’s something that has to be ran by them.”

According to Whisenant, the school district’s only option is to continue providing the facility for the program to continue.

“We want (it) to continue,” he said of the program. “We want our coaches to have as big a part in this as possible.”

Whisenant said that a meeting is being planned between the LISD coaches and the coaches of Latexo Youth Basketball.

“There was a conflict within the community because everybody was used to playing games – to actually keep score; to have places and stuff between the grade levels or the divisions that they have, which are broke up (into) Pre-K and kindergarten, first and second, third and fourth, fifth and sixth, if at all possible, depending on the numbers.

Originally, the coaches were going to run that part, Whisenant said. The second idea was to have skills camps on Saturday and play games at the same time”

According to Whisenant, the LISD coaches “really didn’t have the time to commit to do what they’re contractually obligated to do for us (the district) and Latexo Youth Basketball” due to a reduction in staff and the immediate progression from basketball to other sports which require the coaches to hold practices on Saturdays.

“So, at this point, what’s going to happen is we’re still going to provide the facility,” Whisenant said. “Dr. (Stacy) Easterly (LISD superintendent) and I are on the advisory board of Latexo Youth Basketball, and they will conduct games on Saturdays.”

A Huntsville referee group has been contacted by Latexo Youth Basketball and will be reffing during the games, eradicating the previous issue of parents playing referee.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.