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Rob Potter | Democrat

SEAN CONATY, WHO is holding a basketball, poses for a photo with some of the award winners in Saturday’s event. The winners are, from left to right, Yamilersy Reyes, Attilah Snowden, Tommy Schuk, Joel Reyes, Tahyrah Fore and Shane Jackson.

Olympics join teen 'nations'

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — March 7, 2008 — Dozens of local youngsters were able to test their basketball skills last Saturday afternoon at the Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School.
Those youngsters competed in the basketball portion of the Jr. Olympics Skills Competition, which was hosted by the Village of Monticello Department of Parks and Recreation and “Teens Making a Difference.”
Teens Making a Difference is a group of teen athletes from area high schools which was formed last year. The group’s goal is for its members to work together off the field and achieve something positive for their communities.
Athletes from John S. Burke, Eldred, Fallsburg, Monticello and Sullivan West high schools have been involved with Teens Making a Difference since it began.
Several members of the group helped to conduct and organize the basketball portion of the Jr. Olympic Skills Competition. They included Annie Babula (Eldred High School), Grace Babula (Eldred), Sean Conaty (John S. Burke), Dennis Stafford (Monticello), Rob Venditti (Monticello), Bobby Warden (Eldred), Lindsay Warden (Eldred) and Tyler LaPut, who is a 2006 Eldred graduate.
Saturday’s basketball competition was for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 13. Each participant had one minute to score as many points as they could by shooting the basketball from designated spots on the court.
For example, a successful shot from just a couple of feet from the basket was worth one point, a good shot from the free-throw line was worth three points and a successful shot from the top of the key about 19 feet from the hoop was worth five points.
After shooting, and getting their own rebound when they missed a shot, each competitor attempted two foul shots.
The scores were then added up to determine the first, second and third place finishers in each division.
Each youngster who competed was able to keep his or her scorecard and received a participation certificate.
The top finishers included:
girls ages 8-9: first place – Tahyrah Fore, Attilah Snowden (tie); second place – DeAndrea Bowen
girls ages 10-11: first place – Yamilersy Reyes; second place – Demitra Bowen; third place – Desteni Perez
boys ages 8-9: first place – Terrell Goodson; second place – Guillermo Orellana, Da’Khari Williams (tie); third place – Torri Hadaway
boys ages 10-11: first place – Joel Reyes; second place – Tommy Schuk, Elijah Toro (tie); third place – Brandon Salzman, Jaquido Williams (tie)
boys ages 12-13: first place – Shane Jackson; second place – Albert Toro; third place – Chris Madden
The first place winners in each division advanced to the regional competition, which will be held on May 17 in Monticello.
On April 6, Teens Making a Difference will help organize and conduct the three other athletic events in the Jr. Olympic Skills Competition – soccer, tennis and track & field – in Monticello.

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