Thursday, October 20, 2016

• THINK Together Basketball Tournament

THINK Together is an after school program that is offered at Wildomar Elementary and William Collier Elementary, among others in neighboring communities. 

Today's event was a basketball tournament with the various elementary schools competing against each other.

It started with a pep rally where teams from the local THINK Together programs participated.
A look at the pep squad from Wildomar Elementary.
Part of the pregame festivities included Congressional Candidate Tim Sheridan saying a few words, Wildomar Mayor Bridgette Moore speaking about after school programs, and handing out half a dozen certificates to those that make the program work.

Earlier the teams had competed on the blacktop to see who would face each other in the final game in front of a packed house in the gym.

It was fun to watch the William Collier Comets play against Withrow Wildcats. 

It took a couple of minutes for the players to hit their groove, but that didn't deter them from jacking the ball up every opportunity they had. It was a shooting frenzy for a time. ☺
Number 5 for Withrow was one of the better players of the tournament. Still, the Collier Comet defender blocked his pass attempt.

It also took me a few minutes to figure out that the Yellow team was the one from Wildomar, and the one I ended up cheering to a 17-14 victory.
A look at the 2016 THINK Together champions from William Collier Elementary.

After the game, the school's media department interviewed Wildomar's mayor.
Candidate Tim Sheridan, THINK Together Site Coordinator Riverside County Region April Watkins and her daughter Sunny, Mayor Bridgette Moore, Little Miss County of Riverside Isabella Heredia, and Miss Wildomar Jesse Taylor pose for a picture.

Another look at the Collier Comets.

From the invitation
On Oct. 20, 2616, the afterschool programs from the Lake Elsinore School District  will be participating in the annual Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide celebration of afterschool programs.  We will be one of more than 8,000 sites across the nation sending the message that afterschool is key to children’s success, and that we must keep the lights on and doors open after school.  Parents, media, employers, neighbors, school officials and others have been invited to help us rally support for safe, stimulating afterschool programs.

The elementary THINK Together programs in the LEUSD have been learning about the Olympics and what it takes to be a great athlete.  They have learned to be healthy, go to college, and they have formed basketball teams.  The sites from Wildomar, William Collier, Railraod Canyon, Lakeland Village, Withrow, Machado, and Lake Elsinore Elementary will be coming together for a basketball tournament and celebration.

On a personal note

Just two days ago April Watkins lost her twenty-one year old son. I knew this event was on the schedule, but had thought she might skip it (who could blame her if she did?)

When I saw her this afternoon, the first time since the tragic news, she looked as together as she always does. I gave her a hug and she told me that this was going to be a four hour no cry zone. (That almost got me to cry).

I admired her strength and determination.

When she addressed the audience, she started to speak about the program and the good it does for the kids. She began to relate her experience in the program, telling the audience, "I have four kids..." but that's where her breath was taken away.

She tried to complete her sentence, and after a moment, she managed to with a bit of difficulty. If there are pictures of the crowd at that point, I'm the one with the sunglasses on indoors.

•          •          •

“The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.”
– Ernie Banks, 1931-2015

Wildomar Rap has had ample opportunity to be proven a good sport in many forms of competition over the years.

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