DAYTON – If you haven't had the opportunity to be a part of the annual Cops vs. Kids Basketball game, well, make plans to attend the fifth rendition and get ready for some of the best fun around.
To date, the Kids from Just Amazing Youth Sports have owned local law enforcement on the hardwood, and last year was duly embarrassing, as the Kids were victorious, not once, but twice.
"Time flies by; it's hard to believe this will be our 5th year hosting the event. I could not be more proud of our athletes; they've worked very hard over the last six weeks learning the game and preparing for the opportunity to show the community their basketball skills," said Just Amazing Youth Sports founder Jay Matlock.
John Coleman has been at the forefront of this event, and as the leader of the Cops squad, he has routinely been served a pie in the face after every loss to the Kids. He is excited about the event and hopes the community will continue to support the event.
"I'd like to thank the community for their continued support for such a wonderful event. The kids talk about this game the entire year. It doesn't matter if it's football, baseball, or basketball season; they ask and talk about Cops vs Kids," Coleman said.
Last year saw the Cops fall 52-10 against the younger Kids squad, and in the Cops' best game to date, they tangled with their arch-nemesis and held the older team under 50, losing 45-8.
The loss was tough for Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader, who serves as the Cops Head Coach, especially after having touted his team's preparation efforts heading into those games.
"Due to the lack of my athletic ability and the fact that I am 0-3 coaching, I will admit that we (The Cops) are the underdogs again this year. I accept total responsibility for the times we have been badly beaten," Rader said.
As for this go around, the Kids are ready and chomping at the bit for another battle.
"Sheriff Rader and his posse better bring their 'A' game. They'll need it this year," Matlock said.
As always, there will be a fantastic halftime show performed by the folks at Star Twirling.
This year's game kicks off at 3 p.m. at Dayton High School and admission to the event is only $3.
The annual event is the biggest fundraiser each year for JAYS and allows them to continue their journey of providing a fun, safe environment for children with special needs to play and compete in sports.
"The funds raised help me keep my word to the parents of our athletes; I told them when I started coaching in 2017 that it would never cost them a dime for their child to play sports.," Matlock said.
As always, there are many great items to bid on, especially for any Houston Astros fans.
"We will have a lot of great items in our silent auction, a ton of Astros memorabilia, Astros tickets, and other cool items, including a 25-steak dinner donated by Breggy Bomb Foods. The Breggy Bomb cooking team will prepare the steaks at the winning bidders' location," said Matlock.
Local sponsors include the Kenefick Pit, Uncle Bam Bam's Kool Treats, Waves Auto Detailing, Dayton Lions Club, Star Twirling and Gym and more.
Everyone is encouraged to come out and support this great cause and watch some fun basketball action.
"We hope to see the stands full again with fans cheering the kids on," Matlock said.
Rader chimed in and encouraged the Cops fanbase to show up and cheer on his team, believing it would help boost his squad's chances this year.
"Maybe if our team had as many cheerleaders as the Kids team has, the score would be a lot closer! I invite everyone to come watch a fun game," concluded Rader.