During an athletic committee meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education yesterday parents and coaches expressed a need for middle school basketball.

Before the meeting, Director of Schools William Stepp decided to discontinue middle school basketball. Stepp said he heard from both sides about it and made a choice he considered the best for the school system.

The county currently has elementary school basketball teams but does not have middle school teams.

It is hard for an elementary basketball team to play against other middle school teams in the area. Some of the games resulted in a lopsided win.

The agenda for the athletic committee yesterday only had “old business” to be discussed. It did not specify what was to be talked about. Parents and coaches attended the meeting after hearing about it by word of mouth. A couple of school board members questioned committee chairman Nick Davis in the meeting on why it was not identified as a topic on the agenda.

The only items on the agenda for the athletic committee published on the school system website and sent to local media included a call to order, approval of minutes, old business, and adjournment.

Coach Mike Buck from Stone Memorial High School addressed the committee.

“There are a lot of kids in this county who are good at playing basketball,” said Coach Buck. “But having no middle school basketball team is the most frustrating thing ever. I support all of our students and student-athletes in this county, but if there is no middle school basketball, we are asking student athletes to jump from elementary-level basketball to high school play. Elementary players do not know about competitive high school play. When a team wins by a score of 57 to 4, there is no value to that at all.”

Coach Buck told the committee to quit trying to make a small group of individuals happy and do the right thing.

At the end of the meeting, Director of Schools William Stepp was asked if he would reconsider disbanding middle school basketball. Stepp replied he would possibly reconsider it, but he wanted to meet with his aids and discuss the matter further.

Stepp told the parents and coaches in attendance they were welcome to voice their concerns or opinions about the subject to him.

The phone number for the central office for Cumberland County Schools is (931) 484-6135.

3B Media News will notify everyone of when the next athletic committee meeting will take place once a date and time is set.