It took a team effort, but the Barbour All-County Sports Organization made sports happen for Barbour County middle school students by paying middle school coaches' salaries this school year. While it keeps finding new ways to help, it would like to move from paying for the coaches to paying for equipment and other items.
"The organization would like to get involved with the schools that way, and be able to help, instead of having to pay for the salaries," said BACSO Vice President Robin Humphreys.
It's an effort that doesn't just affect middle school students. Humphreys said high school sports would suffer too, since the kids wouldn't have the benefit of years competing in middle school. And that's just one reason to keep the middle school programs alive.
"Keeping the children's grades up for one thing, and just to have activity for them to have something to do at the end of the school day to keep them from getting in to trouble," said Humphreys.
Now that the new year is here, both BACSO and Barbour County schools are looking ahead to next year's budgets. Humphreys said she has one simple hope for the next year when it comes to the coaches' salaries.
"We don't have to do this again, but if we're challenged to do this again, we'll continue to hope for community support. We're going to be holding a middle school basketball tournament as soon as the basketball schedule is done," said Humphreys.