October 1, 2015
In May 2015, Benjamin Tasker Middle School (BTMS) in Bowie, Maryland was one of four schools to participate in the inaugural season of the Washington Area Middle School (WAMS) Cricket League. The WAMS Cricket League is the first middle school cricket league in the USA. The other three schools were Samuel Ogle, Buck Lodge, and Kenmoor. Since most of the students at BTMS had not heard of cricket before, it was difficult to get a full squad of players for the inaugural season. So cricketers were drafted from elementary schools, whose students were zoned for BTMS, to complete the team. These children already had experience playing cricket in the BEST Cricket League. Now some of those elementary school students are at BTMS and are eager to play in the WAMS Cricket League in Spring 2016.
Principal Michele Johnson also wanted to get more children involved in cricket, so she invited Sham Chotoo from the Maryland Youth Cricket Association and the Bowie Boys and Girls Club to make this happen. After coordinating with PE teachers Mr. Kevin Coates and Ms. Suzanne Brown, Coach Sham spent two half days doing cricket with the 6th and 7th graders. Coach Sham explained the basics of cricket in the first 15 minutes. During this time, the students asked some very good questions to help them understand the game better. Then, they took turns batting and bowling.
Mr. Coates said that once he got past the rules of the game, he found that cricket was fun and exciting. He thinks this is a good way to keep a large number of kids active during PE. Mr. Coates was very happy to receive the free cricket set donated to BTMS by the United States Youth Cricket Association (USYCA). Now that they understand the game, Mr Coates and Ms Brown plan to continue playing cricket with their students. By the end of each PE session, some studnets were already eager to sign up for the BTMS Cricket Team.