Yo-Yo Youngins

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COLIMBIA - A 10 year old won a statewide competition in his sleep. Well, actually.... "sleeping" was just one of the tricks that snared Luke Sherman of Columbia the win in the statewide Mo Yo Competition. Sherman won the junior axle division.

The patrons at the Columbia Hot Box Cookies are wound up about the yo-yo enthusiasts like Luke who practice there. While some youngsters might be parked in front of their PlayStations, these stringers are playing games unplugged.

"It's different than video games or something like that because you do it and spend some time doing it," Wes Dyer, a father who taught his son to yo-yo, said. "There's something you can actually gain, something good from having a skill. "

Yo-yo instructors come to Columbia each Sunday to teach tricks from "walk the dog" to "split the atom".  Chris Neff of Jefferson City is a former architect who now builds youth self esteem with yo-yos.

"I saw kids and their whole personality would change in my opinion because they had a venue for success," Neff said.

Arnie Fagan is a club sponsor. "It's just an incredibly cool sport that you can get in for eight or ten bucks and carry a yo-yo around and it doesn't take much room," Fagan said.

The group also works with spin tops which are close cousins to yo-yos. In this tightly wound society, parents say unplugged gaming is a welcome distraction that helps give their family balance.

If you'd like to participate in the yo-yo club, it practices on Sundays at 1:00 pm at Hot Box Cookies at 808-B East Broadway. For more information, you can contact Chris Neff yophosis@yahoo.com