Reminiscent of the good old days in local prep basketball action, on Friday night the City of Apalachicola Youth Center also known by many as the Matchbox, was alive and full of energy as the newly renovated gym played host to three official prep basketball games between the Franklin County Seahawks and their 1A District 4 rivalry the Liberty County Bulldogs.
The Seahawks boys junior varsity team as well as both the girls and boys varsity teams suited up in the Matchbox due to a malfunctioning scoreboard at the Franklin County School gymnasium located off U.S. Highway 98 in Eastpoint.
The inoperative scoreboard prompted the change in venue to the Apalachicola Youth Center, which used to serve as the home of Apalachicola Sharks Basketball before the schools were consolidated and where some of the most exciting and memorable prep games have ever been played locally.
The Franklin County Seahawks Varsity boys, led by Head Coach Mackenzie Williams kept the legend of the Matchbox alive and through the magic downed the Liberty County Bulldogs 83 – 79.
Both the renovation and operation of the gym as a Youth Center were and are made possible through a public/private partnership between the City of Apalachicola and a non-profit organization established by Helen Willis-Escobar, owner of the Grady Market in Downtown Apalachicola.
Also, over the 2015 Christmas break starting at 6:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. December 18, the Matchbox will be hosting a skills challenge contest, shooting contest and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament for Elementary and Middle School boys and girls. Participation is free and you can sign your child up for the activities at anytime while at the center.
Photos by Helen Willis-Escobar