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Cops hope to catch Kids finally

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Cops vs Kids round 4 scheduled for Saturday

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DAYTON – It’s time again for one of the most entertaining events, as the kiddos with Just Amazing Youth Sports square off with local law enforcement in the 4th annual Cops vs. Kids basketball game.

Coming off an embarrassing 100-13 loss in 2022, the Cops are hoping to rebound and finally bring down those pesky kids, who are now 3-0 in the series.

“Lack of practice has been our excuse! This year we had a lesson (some of us two lessons) and now we all can at least spell basketball,” said Liberty County Sheriff Booby Rader.

Last year saw a dominating performance from the Kids standout Hayden Wilson, who brought down the house with the rarely-seen 26-point jump shot late in the fourth quarter.

“We actually have five of our original six kids playing again this year. Hayden Wilson, Nate Matlock, Seth Lopez, Justin Stephenson and Bradley Fingleman will all be sticking it to the cops,” said JAYS Founder and President Jay Matlock.

According to Matlock, the JAYS organization has grown so much they will be playing two games this year, with the younger kids starting things off, followed by a special performance by the Dayton High School Cheerleaders before the older kids hit the court in hopes of winning for a fourth straight year.

Rader made it clear that the Cops were ready to go this year and could only go up from the past three games.

“As you can tell from the prior scores (or lack of on the Cops side), the only way we can go is up. The awesome group of kids better beware,” he said.

This year’s game kicks off at 9:30 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. The funds help pay for uniforms, equipment, insurance, and other costs associated with providing kids sports. The funds also put us in a position to expand JAYS into communities that don’t have a program for children with special needs,” Matlock said.

This year will feature over 130 items, with over 100 related to the Houston Astros. Those prizes include three different Astros ticket packages this year.

“I just want to invite everyone out to have some real fun watching the kids. If you can’t make it out, there is a post on the Houston Astros Nation page Facebook to make bids in real-time,” said Matlock.

Local sponsors include the Kenefick Pit, Megan’s Tamales, Coco Bakery y mas and more.

Last year Total Access Communications donated $500 to sponsor the postgame pie in the Cops star player John Coleman’s face. They are ready to make another donation and provide another pie this year.

“I look forward to this Saturday for me to get my just deserts from the kids,” said Coleman.

Coleman has been a part of the Cops vs. Kids from the start and is excited to see their work continue to grow and pay dividends that have continued to bring smiles to the kids, parents, and community.

“I’m just very excited to be a part of this program and what it does for the kids, their families and the chance for them to get in the gym and have the community cheer for them.

Matlock says the JAYS kids are looking forward to getting back out there and bringing it to the Cops and he has one last suggestion for them.

“I just want to tell the sheriff’s department to bring some icy hot for all the aches and pains,” concluded Matlock.