SCHROON LAKE - Youth from Essex County gathered in Lake Placid to participate in the Jim Kordziel Memorial Basketball Tournament recently.
Teams from Willsboro, Moriah, Lake Placid, Elizabethtown, Westport, Brushton, Chateguay, Schroon Lake, Keene and Ausable participated in the tournament.
"The coaches, players, and fans exemplified what youth athletics are about. Shouts of encouragement could be heard throughout the gym. The kids went out there, played hard, and most importantly had fun." said Michael Mascarenas, director of youth and recreation.
This year the tournament focus was on the problems associated with under-age drinking.
"You could see posters hanging all over the gymnasium, it was nice to see the young people take such a proactive approach on an issue that so many feel strong about," said Mascarenas.
"Under-age drinking is an area that Essex County continues to struggle. To change what has been the norm for so long takes an effort by the whole community," stated Mascarenas. "Accidents involving alcohol are the number one killer of youth aged 16-24. We need to spread the message, that there is no such thing as safe underage drinking," said Julie Garcia, Essex Country District Attorney.
"The district attorney's office and B.E.S.T. organization have been working hard to make under-age drinking behaviors a major priority in Essex County. We commend them for the work they are doing," said Joseph Provoncha of the youth bureau.