Springfield boys, girls hoop programs hosting fall youth league

SPRINGFIELD — A new youth basketball league affiliated with the Springfield High School boys and girls programs is set to tip-off this fall.

The Springfield City Youth League has more than 125 boys and girls registered and is still accepting signups. The league is designed for Springfield City School District students in second through sixth grades. Cost is $25 and all proceeds benefit the basketball programs.

The program, which will include skills, drills and live game play, is being held on Monday nights beginning Sept. 18 and will run through Oct. 16 at Springfield High School. The second through fourth grade session will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with fifth and sixth grade session following from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The program will be operated by boys coach Matt Yinger and girls coach Terry Toliver, as well as their high school and middle school coaching staffs.

“We’re trying to get that basketball excitement back that Springfield has always thrived on,” Yinger said.

The goal is to work on skill development, introduce the program’s offensive and defensive concepts and their program’s core values.

“We have great athletes, but skill we’ve been lacking,” Toliver said. The fall league will serve as a springboard to launch a new Springfield Wildcats youth feeder program for students for second through sixth graders that will compete in the Dayton Metro League — similar to other programs in the Greater Western Ohio Conference. “It’s about fundamental skill development, but it’s also about character development,” Yinger said. “It’s training up a student athlete at a young age instead of indoctrinating kids to being a student athlete when they get to middle school. It expedites the process of what it means to be a student athlete, allows them to build character and it allows them to build fundamentals. In the long run, it allows them to fall in love with the sport at an earlier age.”

Toliver hosted a youth league this summer and said about 60 girls have already signed up for the SCYL program.

The boys and girls basketball programs are working together for the first time and it’s created excitement in the community, Toliver said. “We’re all one united program,” he said. “It’s something we haven’t had and it’s needed. Springfield has a lot of talent. The foundation has kind of been broken a little bit. I think Matt and I are on a collision course to make this special.”

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