NJB Returns for 2018–2019 But Will It Last?

For more than 20 years Scripps Ranch families have enjoyed watching their kids in grades 3–8 play National Junior Basketball (NJB) games at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) on the weekends. As a nonprofit volunteer organization serving more than 400 kids each year, the league has very low operational costs, with parents devoting hundreds of hours to running the league. However, in June, longtime Scripps NJB co-director Marilou Pennington received some bad news. The San Diego Unified School District plans to raise the rental rates for the high school gym by more than 60%.

“That rate hike would have broken our league. And after all of the hard work of many families to build this league—and what it has done for my family and countless others—it was so sad to see the league potentially disappear overnight.”

Thankfully, the district agreed to hold off raising the rate until 2019. But if the rate hike goes into effect, Scripps NJB will have to make some dramatic changes to remain operational. “The rate hike likely will force our league to drop the boys and girls 7th–8th Grade Division. We already have cut back our costs significantly in the last two seasons, but we are running out of options,” Marilou said.

NJB’s efforts over the past two years to gain access to the Scripps Ranch Recreation Center have failed. “We have been told that there is insufficient staff to increase weekend access to the gym, and that parent volunteers could not open and close the facility. So unless the Rec Center changes its priorities, it is a dead end.”

Fortunately, Scripps NJB will play games this year, with signups starting in September. “We are excited about this season and look forward to future seasons of helping Scripps Ranch kids play a great sport in their own neighborhood,” said Tania Kramer, co-director. “In addition, we provide NJB alumni jobs as referees and scorekeepers and volunteer opportunities as junior board members and coaches.

“However, we need community help to ensure that our league survives. We are looking for more parents to volunteer to serve on the board and help at games, and we need gym alternatives for games and practices. Also, we hope our neighbors recognize how special NJB is and make contributions to ensure our financial survival. Unfortunately, hard work and community spirit alone will not cover the hourly rental rates at the high school.”

Visit www.ScrippsRanchNJB.org to learn more and register your children for a fun season of basketball that runs from November through February. Registration opens on Saturday, Sept. 1, and closes on Sunday, Sept. 30. Practices are typically once a week—Monday through Friday, 4:30 to 6 pm or 6 to 7:30 pm. Games are on weekends, usually in the SRHS gym, on Saturdays for grades 7–8 and Sundays for grades 3–6. For more information, contact the board at [email protected]

Soccer Season Kicks-Off

Scripps Ranch Soccer Club (SRSC) recreational soccer teams begin practice the week of August 13. Parents of registered players should be contacted by their coach in the following weeks. The fall season starts on Saturday, Sept. 8, Socctoberfest/Picture Day is Sunday, Oct. 7, and the season concludes in November. Good luck to all of our teams!

SRSC competitive teams continue to bring home championship hardware from summer tournaments. Congratulations to the following teams:

  • Boys 2005 Red, Champions, San Diego Charity Cup—Coach Pouyan Samandari, Managers Susan Feiner and Jody Luke
  • Boys 2006 Red, Champions, Temecula United Charity Cup—Coach Niall Ffrench, Manager Stephanie Lehman
  • Boys 2007 Red, Champions, Kickin’ It Challenge —Coach Chris Tolles, Manager Monika Wimmer
  • Boys 2008 Red, Champions, Kickin’ It Challenge—Coach Armin Munevar, Manager Selima Abdulla
  • Girls 2004, Finalists, Temecula United Charity Cup—Coach Larry Szafraniec, Manager Jim Wick
  • Boys 2003 Red, Finalists, Rebels Showcase—Coach Armin Munevar, Manager Tracy Lawlor

Again, we congratulate all of our teams and look forward to a great season! Stay updated on all things SRSC at www.scrippsranchsc.com and on our Facebook page. See you on the pitch!

Scott Brown, SRSC President