Special League

WHAT A revolutionary concept: Athletic competition where there are no losers.

The Upward Sports Basketball League recently dropped the curtain on its inaugural season. And what a season it was!

Calling it successful would be understating the case. The Martins Ferry Christian Church, augmented by the leadership of co-director Brian Hastings, was the driving force in developing the unique athletic endeavor.

Sixteen teams and eight cheering squads participated in the maiden voyage. It was to be a journey the participants embraced with the fondest of memories.

The Upward Sports Basketball League is not your normal league. Far from it.

It is for youths of all skill levels. Talent is not a requirement. The format attracted nearly 170 boys and girls from kindergarten to sixth grade taking part at the Ayers Elementary School gym.

The success of the league went beyond the players and cheerleaders, as it spawned volunteerism at its finest. More than 60 individuals donated their time, talents and love to make the league run smoothly, be it in the realm of coaching, officiating or with site management.

The conclusion of the league is merely a springboard for next year. Plans are already in the works for the league’s second season, which will likely feature more advancements.

Upward Sports is not resting on its laurels. Success breeds success.

The powers-to-be have been approached about the possibility of forming flag football and/or soccer leagues. Such expansion talks speak volumes on how well the basketball league played out.

We commend all those — be it organizers, directors, players or volunteers — who made such a refreshing undertaking a slam-dunk feel-good story.