Carbondale Police take on the Carbondale Cougars in community basketball game

By Brian Munoz, Editor in Chief

The Carbondale Middle School Cougars boys basketball team took on a new foe as they kicked off their 2019 season ahead of next week – the Carbondale Police Department.

“It was something I was thinking about since last year,” said DreShean Payne, Carbondale Middle School head boys basketball coach.

Payne said that his goal was to bring the police department and the youth together to fight misconceptions about law enforcement and to “bring everyone together.”

The Carbondale Police Department was all for the matchup with the middle schoolers, Matt Acray, Carbondale Police Department sergeant, said.

Acray said that the game is a great opportunity to reach out and build bonds within the community.

“Any time that we can do something to build relationships within the community, especially at such a young age and get some parents involved – [we’re] all for it,” Acray said.

Several members of the basketball team said they enjoyed the game.

“It was just a lot of fun, especially that everyone came out to watch [the game,]” Jahkel Gaethers, a Carbondale player said. “I was kind of nervous because we were playing the police but in the end it was a lot of fun.”

Marquavion Cleaves, an eighth grader on the team shared similar sentiments to Gaithers.

“At first it was a little nerve wracking knowing that we were going to play against the police but after we started playing, we were more confident with each other,” Marquavion Cleaves said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The Cougars defeated the Carbondale Police Department, 28-18.

“This is a good kickoff to get the season started up,” Payne said. “To me, I don’t care who wins – it’s just really a great event to bring people together.”

The Carbondale Middle School Cougars continue their season on Monday, Jan. 7, as they take on the Cape Central Junior High Tigers at 4:30 p.m.

Editor in Chief Brian Munoz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @brianmmunoz.

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