We have finished with the 2015-2016 basketball season - and what an incredible season it was! Our Select Program fielded many successful teams and our House Program was hugely popular yet again. Additionally our Ref Program added 22 new refs this year, the Shots for Shots fundraiser raised even more money this year than last, and we were able to continue to honor the memory of Matt Poyner by awarding scholarships in his honor: the Matthew V. Poyner Youth Leadership Scholarship Award.
On behalf of the GF Hoops Board, we would like to thank each and everyone one of you for your contribution to the organization. Coaches, players, referees, carpool drivers, and spectators – every one of you had an impact on our organization and, most importantly, on our players. For those of you who were able to join us at Brix last weekend – please accept that evening as just a small token of our appreciation. We absolutely love our coaches and volunteers – we could not run this program without all of you.
To all the families that made GF Hoops a part of your winter season! We so appreciate your commitment to GF Hoops!
To all the Coaches – endless and countless thank-yous to all of our head coaches, assistant coaches, and stand-in coaches. You gave your time and energy and helped teach basketball and life lessons along the way. The impact that you have made on the children of our community will be felt for years to come.
To all the spectators who showed up for 8:00 a.m. games as well as 8:50 p.m. games – thank you for caring enough to come sit in the gyms and cheer on not just your child, but all of our children.
Matthew Poyner Youth Leadership Scholarship Awards:
This year the GF Hoops Board awarded scholarships to four GF Hoops High School Seniors. The main criteria of the award were commitment and dedication to GF Hoops, as well as, teamwork and leadership. Matthew Poyner embodied all these things and we thank the Poyner family for allowing us to name the scholarship in his honor and memory.
This past weekend I had the privilege of awarding the scholarships to four very-deserving members of our community. Congratulations to Jonathan Canfield, Christopher Miner, Mackenzie Regen, and Dante Vasiliadis! GF Hoops appreciates all that you have given to us over the years. Best of luck to each of you next year as you continue your education.
Last year, after we lost Matt, his parents set up a foundation in his name. If you would like to make a donation to the Matthew Vernon Poyner Memorial Foundation, please mail your donation to:
The Matthew Vernon Poyner Memorial Foundation
PO Box 30
Great Falls, VA 22066
Community Outreach Initiative: Shots for Shots
This year for the second year in a row, we partnered with The Community Coalition for Haiti (CCH) to raise funds for immunizations and a wellness program in and around Jacmel, Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and most children have no access to medical facilities, vaccines, or basic wellness programs. With our Shots for Shots campaign we raised $4350.00 for CCH. The Great Falls community is so incredibly generous!!
Here are just a few of things that your donations will help support the purchase of:
- Vision Testing Kits
- Reliable scale
- Supplies needed to set up individual student health files in each school. Since there are NO medical files on the students, this is a BIG deal! It includes plastic file boxes (needed to protect files from the 'elements' since storage is such a challenge in Haiti), writing supplies (pens, pencils, red pencils, sharpies, etc. to record heath data) and file folders (including accordion files for each classroom). It is critical that the schools are supported in carefully monitoring student health – the records are a major part of this effort.
- Medications –follow-up care provided after the doctors make the health exams at each school
Great Falls fielded 9 select teams this season. Two of those teams then went on to play in the championship game for their respective division. Congratulations to Coach Shumadine and her D1 Girls Grade 6 team as well as Coach Brennan and his D1 Boys Grade 6 team. They both had amazing seasons!
The GF Hoops Select program had another banner year with 10 players voted All League Honors and 1 player voted MVP for her grade/division: Alayna Arnolie – Grade 6/Division 1. Congratulations Alayna!
In addition, we had two coaches that were nominated as Most Valuable Coach by their peers: Karina Bond (Girls 8/D2) and Marvin Somoza (Girls 6/D1). What an honor!
The Select Program will be putting out a survey to all those families that participated in the program. It will be coming out in the next few weeks so please watch for it. The survey should only take about 10 minutes and is a great opportunity to let us know how the season went: what worked, what we need to work on, how the coaches did, etc. These surveys are anonymous and we encourage you to let us know your thoughts.
This year we were able to offer basketball to children in Kindergarten through Grade 12 - on both the boys and girls sides. We had approximately 1000 players in the House League.
I saw games at every age level this season and was so impressed with the sportsmanship and finesse with which the game was played and coached. I even had the privilege of reffing a few games this season. In particular I was able to be on the floor reffing for the Girls Grade 7 championship game. The young ladies in that age group were incredible sports as well as incredible athletes and very gracious to the “old lady” calling their game. I can’t wait to see them play again next season!
Once again our youth coaches stepped up and did an amazing job of mentoring players and serving as excellent role models. To any parent whose child served as a youth coach or assistant coach this season – you should be very proud of them. The GF Hoops Board relies heavily on the kind hearts of these young people to serve as good examples and take on teams – these young people are really quite extraordinary.
We had 145 refs in the program this year. These young adults are a very hard-working and conscientious group. I so enjoy working with each and every one of them and I would like to thank them for their time and efforts again this season. I loved watching the coaches and players come up to the refs at the end of a game and thank them for their time. So nice to see and I know the refs appreciate the thought and kind words. I would like to give a special “shout out” to the ref trainers/mentor refs: Spencer Beckwith, Jack Bonham, Nick Claude, Mark Murray, Mackenzie Regen, Joe Ulepic, Dante Vasiliadis, Jason Volpicelli, and John Zmuda. These referees spent time this past fall and into the season working patiently with the newest refs and supporting them while on the floor - calling games. This takes a lot of patience and time and I am grateful for all they do to help with the referee program.
On a Final Note…
I am fortunate to serve on the Board with an incredible group of people. Several of which will be leaving the Board in the next few months: Laura Bean, Brian Geoghegan, and Malia Kishore. If you see any of them out and about in Great Falls, please thank them for their dedication to our kids.
In particular, I would like to send a special thank you to Malia Kishore, who has been on the Board longer than I have and I cannot imagine our Board without her. Every jersey, every coach’s shirt, every game ball, every game clock, every first aid kit, every trophy, every ALL Star t-shirt (the list goes on and on…) – all these things were thought of and purchased by Malia. She made sure that we had every piece of equipment we needed BEFORE we even knew we would need it! She is simply amazing and we will definitely miss her organizational skills as well as her wonderful sense of humor.
GF Hoops would not even be remotely possible without all the incredible members of the GF Hoops Board. The amount of work and hours each one of them puts into the program is amazing. I am grateful and humbled by each member of the Board with which I serve. I send a very special thank you to each one of them – they are all incredible people.
Michelle Claude, Commissioner