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Parents claim kids are forced to drop the ball over religion

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- Religion and sports are big in the Eastern Kentucky. But what happens when those two acitivies step on each other’s toes?

“At some point there will always be choices and for the most part, some people can work around some conflicts, but not all,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said.

With more scheduling conflicts between sports and church, some parents are saying their children shouldn’t be made to drop the ball just because of their religion.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association recently decided to split its Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament schedule.
Instead of playing two games in one day and ending on a Saturday, the tournaments will now end on a Sunday.

“More and more we’re seeing over the last few years, we’re seeing the kids having to make the choice on Sunday nights,” Pastor at Chavies First Church of God Paul Hensley said.

Daryl Cornett is the Pastor at First Baptist Church in Hazard and has dealth with the dilemma personally with his own kids.

“We’ve had long discussions about priorities and setting those firmly in our family,” Cornett said.

Sporting and church leaders agree that both bodies have a heavy influence over kids, but church leaders would like to see both bodies work together better.

“The school system doesn’t have to share our faith, but we do need a common ground and that’s we love the kids,” Hensley said.

Tackett says there has to be an effort at the local level between local levels between athletic directors and principals to minimize conflicts.

KHSAA tested the new tournament format earlier this year and commissioners say they got positive feedback from players, saying it gave players extra time to rest between games.

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