Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards hosted her fourth annual hoops clinic
Janine Edwards couldn't help but smile at the happy chaos swirling around her.
Parents chatted amiably in the Stourbridge Primary bleachers. Kids compared trophies and tried on their new t-shirts. Volunteer camp counselors popped open celebratory sodas and scarfed down chips.
Four days of excitement, learning and fun had flown by. Now it was time to take a moment for reflection.
Wayne County's energetic young District Attorney had just closed out on her third annual “Stand Tall for Basketball” clinic. And, while admittedly exhausted, she was also eloquent in her summation.
“I'm very happy with how things went this week,” Edwards said. “Stand Tall for Basketball is all about learning to make the right choices ... good kids making good choices.”
Janine is product of the Honesdale girls basketball program and she firmly believes that lessons learned in athletics inevitably carry over to everyday life.
“My job as the District Attorney is to prosecute those who commit crimes, but it's also to help keep the community safe,” she said.
“Most of the kids here are between the ages of 10 and 13 and that's an ideal time to reach them and help them see that doing the right thing now will help them do the right thing later on.”
On the Court
More than 60 boys and girls of all ages and abilities attended this year's edition of the camp.
They met each each morning at the Stourbridge, Monday through Thursday, and stayed until noon.
Honesdale boys varsity basketball coach Tim Wood organized the day-to-day activities, while Edwards oversaw the entire clinic.
“When we first talked about starting this camp, we had a couple of things in mind,” Wood said. “We obviously wanted the kids to have fun and learn about basketball, but we also wanted to get an important message across.”
That message, stated simply, is that organized sports teach lessons that can be applied outside the game and across the years.
Communication, hard work, sportsmanship and dedication are skills that transcend athletics.
“I learned so much from playing basketball and being part of a team,” Edwards said.
“I feel very strongly that those things helped me make good decisions and I hope they help these kids at some point, too.”
Several current Hornet varsity players turned out to volunteer their time.
In addition, varsity assistant Larry Patrisso, freshman coach Ron Rowe and junior high coach Mike Miller all lent a hand.
Players and coaches came forward to help hand out awards for campers who showed marked improvement over the course of the week.
A camp-long free throw contest concluded Thursday with winners being crowned in two age brackets for boys and girls.
Also, counselors all put their heads together to select two campers from each group to receive a special coaches award.
“It was really tough to narrow it down to just two kids,” Wood admitted. “What were looking for was kids who took what we were teaching and applied it to the games and drills.”
This year's Stand Tall for Basketball clinic award winners are...
•Aiden LaTourette (5-6 grade boys free throw).
•Olivia Canfield (5-6 grade girls free throw).
•Noah Theobald (5-6 grade coaches choice).
•Grace Maxson (5-6 grade coaches choice).
•Lily Fries (7-8 grade coaches award).
•Luke Bancroft (7-8 grade coaches award).
•Colin Rickard (7-8 boys free throw).
•Lydia Grossman (7-8 girls free throws).