If you haven’t yet been to the Matchbox, the former Apalachicola High School gymnasium, make plans to visit in 2017.

Franklin County High School interim football coach Jamie Robinson and his staff oversaw a wonderful Holiday Hoops tournament at the gym Dec. 22. In addition to the many games and skills challenges at the gym, which has been painstakingly restored through an infusion of private sector dollars from Helen Willis Escobar, the day saw performances by Beauty Queens In Motion.

Escobar said organizer Tomeika Ford has 26 girls signed up with BQIM and they will be meeting at the Matchbox every Monday and Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m.

“She makes sure they all have their homework finished and a healthy snack as well,” said Escobar. “She was meeting at her house and volunteering her time and own money to make their costumes.”

Escobar plans to bring in Wendy Crawford to work with her and to do a step/dance clinic with the girls, similar to the Ganon Baker clinic conducted for the basketball team and coaches.

Escobar said she also has secured a new wooden gym floor that will be arriving mid next month to replace the aging rubber-coated, non-wooden one that has seen better days

The new one "has only been sanded once and is coming from Myrtle Beach,” she said.

Escobar said the Matchbox will host Massanutten Military Score Academy for a an elite prep team game in February. “Coach Chad Myers from MMA will be doing a clinic for the kids the next day,” she said. “We are very excited to have them come down from Virginia! They are one of the top 10 prep teams in the country, Chad is s good friend and willing to come down a couple times a year to do clinics and bring his team to play, putting Apalachicola back on the basketball map.”

In addition, stay tuned for a football clinic on Saturday, Jan. 21 run by Robinson, former Florida State University standout and professional player.

Escobar said that three-on-three soccer games and skill training will start in April 2017. This program will be a six-weeks long and ran by former FSU and professional soccer player, Erika Robinson.