Leanna Rosenbaum (St. Francis Sherwood) defends the ball as Makena Sukimoto (St. Clare) gets over half court during the eighth-grade girls championship game at Valley Catholic. (Courtesy CYO)
Leanna Rosenbaum (St. Francis Sherwood) defends the ball as Makena Sukimoto (St. Clare) gets over half court during the eighth-grade girls championship game at Valley Catholic. (Courtesy CYO)

The Catholic Youth Organization third- through eighth-grade basketball program had a large number of participants this season, with more than 2,700 youths and around 300 teams. Oregon Episcopal School’s fifth- and sixth-graders joined CYO this year as a new club. CYO leaders said they are grateful for the partnership and for the energy and spirit the school brought to the program. 

The 2017-18 regular season began in December and ran through February. Although last year the first three weekends of the regular season were canceled due to the weather, this year’s schedule was uninterrupted. Each team played eight games leading up to the City Championships. Any weekend during the regular season there were close to 150 games played in the various CYO gyms across the city.

Inclement weather did delay the start of the third- through fourth-grade CYO City Basketball Championships, but with the help of the athletic directors the games were successfully rescheduled.  The tournament began Sunday, Feb. 25, and ended Sunday, March 11. Close to 400 games made up this year’s tournament. Some of the championship games were livestreamed, which allowed friends and family to watch from afar. 

More than 500 grade-school basketball coaches were certified this year. These individuals dedicate an extensive amount of time completing certifications and coaching practices and games.

“We are grateful for their time and talents, as we wouldn’t be able to succeed without them,” said CYO in a news release.

“CYO wishes all of the eighth-graders great success as they move on to high school and thanks them for their years of participation,” the release continued. “We look forward to seeing many of you in our high school program next year.”

Bass is director of CYO basketball.

Find out more: Go to cyocamphoward.org for more information on CYO and Camp Howard.