Au Gres church to hold basketball tournament

File photo
Kids play in the 2011 St. John Lutheran Church basketball tournament. This year's event is set for June 14.

Au GRES ¬— The St. John Lutheran Church in Au Gres is holding its annual 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament June 14.

Pastor Fred Cordts said the biggest change this year is the addition of a new division. While the existing age group divisions will be returning — grades fourth through sixth, seventh through ninth, and 10th through 12th, an open division will be debuting this year, which is open to older kids and adults.

“The emphasis is on co-ed teams too,” Cordts said. “So maybe it’s not so much about hard competition, but a fun event. We just want to be a little more inclusive.”

He said the church is also working with Au Gres-Sims coach basketball Gordie Ostrander to help run the tournament. Cordts said Ostrander will be providing baskets and is helping get people together to officiate the tournament. Additionally, he said it allows them to make sure they do not have conflicting events like last year’s tournament.

“Last year, what happened was we did not coordinate, and our tournament was going against some activities (Ostrander) had at the high school,” Cordts said. “It conflicted, so we didn’t have many kids last year.”

Another positive Ostrander brings to the table, he said, is being in touch with local coaches from other schools as well. Cordts said he has heard about interest from kids in the Standish-Sterling and Pinconning school districts, and personally dropped off information at Arenac Eastern during the school year.

Pre-registration is open prior to June 14, and registration will also be taking place the day of the tournaments, which themselves are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Cordts said he would be at the church early that day to sign people up ahead of time. He said the current plan is to start with the youngest kids and move to the older divisions as the day goes on.

“We will start with the younger age groups, and then work our way up and see how we can accommodate as many people as possible early in the day,” he said. “We will have three areas to play in, so that should take care of quite a few kids.”

The first place finishers in each division will earn a commemorative plaque, which Cordts said would be delivered at a later date. Due to the fewer-than-expected number of players last year, there were trophies leftover and he hopes to avoid having the same problem this year.

Everyone who participates will get a free tournament T-shirt and a picnic lunch courtesy of the church’s parishioners.

Registration is $10 a player with three or four players per team. To pre-register or for more information, call Cordts or the church at 989-876-8910.


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