Franklin Countys First News

Farmington Rec. Junior Pro and Prep Basketball season sees significant growth

Division 1 Most Improved players. (From left to right) Hawks: Margaret Bremner Raptors: Eli Ingrisano Bucks: Natalie Hart Bulls: Vinnie Nilo IV Heat: Claire Wrigley

FARMINGTON - The Farmington Parks & Recreation Department recently wrapped up it’s 2019-2020 Junior Pro and Prep Basketball programs for children grades 1 through 6.

Most Improved Player for the Warriors: Ella Meader with coach Davin Kangas

Junior Pro basketball had great numbers this year growing from last year to 99 players and consisted of nine teams with five in Division 1 and four in Division 2. There were also 25 first graders registered in the Prep Basketball Program which prepares participants for our Junior Pro competitive league play the following year.

The Junior Pro Division One and Two teams met every Saturday for games following team practices each week. This year’s volunteer coaches included parents and local elementary school teachers who brought unmatched enthusiasm to their teams, and also a close-knit, community-centered feel to the program.

The individual attention given by coaches along with weekly practices developed by the Recreation Department has proven to be invaluable for the children. The Prep Basketball Program met once a week to develop their skills and learn the rules of the sport through fun and engaging drills and games to prepare them for their future roles as Junior Pro basketball players. This year Ben Ladd and Jennifer Savage were the Program Directors for both the Junior Pro and Prep Basketball programs. This was Ben Ladd’s second year as a program director and Jennifer Savage’s first. They were responsible for overseeing the program as well as organizing game schedules, developing practice plans and assisting with team practices.

To wrap up the season, the Junior Pro League held their Medal Mashup event. Division One teams played in a final tournament with handpicked matchups, followed by a Free Throw Competition, Snowball Throw and awards ceremony. Division Two teams celebrated the end of the year with their annual RoundRobin Tournament. Before announcing awards and handing out medals, Division 2 also had a free throw competition and Snowball Throw event as well. The snowball coming closest to Ben Ladd (who stood in the center of the court) received a grand prize which consisted of Celtics apparel and basketball gear.

Division 2 Free Throw Champions: Carter Gentle and Natalie Dulac with Program Director, Ben Ladd.

Both tournaments are a fast-paced, exciting celebration where players are recognized for their hard work and accomplishments during the season. Prep Basketball players ended their season with new jerseys, and their first ‘real’ basketball game. The Recreation Department split players into multiple teams and had them use the skills they had developed throughout the season to play in their first official game, followed by an awards ceremony. During Division One Medal Mashup, the Recreation Department presented an award, the Alex Strozier Memorial Coaching Award. The 2020 recipient of the award was coach Eric Boudreau. It was Boudreau’s second year coaching for the Recreation Department. Boudreau had a great attitude and was constantly cheering on her own team, as well as all the other players in the league during games.

The Recreation Department wanted to recognize the outstanding patience, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm she demonstrated while coaching for the program. During the Division Two Round Robin, the Recreation Department presented the John Boutilier Memorial Award for their favorite. Mary Hastings was the 2020 recipient of the Award which represents a fan who demonstrates enthusiasm and support for all of the players and the program. Mary’s son, Jaxson and daughter Lily, play in the program.

You can always find her cheering for the teams from the grandstand, thanking referees, coaches, and staff. The Recreation Department would like to thank Mary for her support of the program and for her example as an exemplary fan. The Recreation Department would like to thank all of the volunteer coaches, Erica Boudreau, Josh Allbee, Katie Fornier, Jeremy Meader, Rick Billion, Sheena and Jason Thomas, Cameron McAllister, and Davin Kangas. These coaches put in countless hours of their own free time to help develop a program that is fun and successful for all of its participants. This program, and others like it, would not be possible without the efforts of our volunteer coaching staff. We would also like to thank the Program Directors, Ben Ladd and Jennifer Savage for the enormous amount of time and effort they put into this program to make it better each year. The Recreation Department strives to create an environment in which athletes can improve their skills, make new friends, have fun, and develop a passion for being active.

Division 1 Free Throw Champions: Keenan O’Neil and Andi Savage with Paris Baxter, the Assistant Director.

Division 2 Most Improved Player for the Mavericks: Ruby Alexis with coaches Jason and Sheena Thomas

Division 2 Most Improved Player for the Lakers: Ryan Atwood with coach Katie Fournier.

Division two Most Improved Player for the Grizzlies: Ava Davis with coach Cameron McAllister

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