Palestine Magazine Spring Edition 2021 - Page 21

The superintendents invited parents to volunteer to coach youth teams and to accept differences in PYSO ’ s governance and organization .
The letter also introduced PYSO ’ s new director , Nancy Kindig- Malone , who brings 35 years of experience as an athlete , educator , coach , and parent . Her perspective comes from a lifetime of involvement in sports and a degree in psychology and sociology .
“ I ’ m not about sport as an end-all ,” Kindig-Malone said . “ I ’ m about sport as making great men and women .”
With positive coaching and support , she wants kids to learn a good work ethic , develop character , and have fun .
“ If the kids have fun they ’ re going to continue ,” Kindig-Malone said . “ Winning is the frosting on the cake .”
Volunteers and community involvement are vital to PYSO ’ s success . Teams need volunteers to provide leadership , coach , support , and sponsor teams and work concession stands .
“ Youth development sports programs are only as good as the volunteers ,” she said . “ I welcome anyone who wants to give me a call .”
Two parents leading are committee presidents Chris Holman and Brian Jones . Holman is a long-time volunteer at the complex and a softball commissioner for the area ’ s Dixie League . He presides over PYSO ’ s Softball Sport Committee .
Jones presides over the Baseball Sport Committee . As owner CJ Athletics , Jones provided a venue for baseball and softball tryouts in February .
Part of PYSO ’ s game strategy is to streamline through coordination . The league held softball and baseball tryouts during physical education classes at Westwood and Palestine schools .
Another team member is the Palestine YMCA , which manages Tiny Tots for ages 3 to 4 and T-Ball for ages 4 to 6 . The Y enrolled roughly 170 boys and girls on 15 teams in the spring with an online software program it uses to register soccer participants .
PYSO is not looking to draw kids away from soccer , but to complement it and develop the same organizational strengths . Baseball ,
softball , Tiny Tots , and T-ball occur during the week , while the Y ’ s soccer games occur on Saturdays .
“ The community of soccer parents is so strong . They ’ ve done a phenomenal job ,” Kindig-Malone said . “ We need that for all our programs . We want to harness that and come up with a pathway [ in which ] we ’ re all working together .”
Under Kindig-Malone ’ s leadership , PYSO is connecting coaches , kids , venues , sponsors , and other resources to keep baseball and softball programs running smoothly , but that ’ s not all . Thanks to forward-thinking leadership , PYSO will expand its scope to provide more opportunities for youth participation in flag football , volleyball , tennis , track and basketball .
The expansion will give kids in the lower and middle grades more opportunities to participate in year-round sports , which will benefit their physical , emotional and character development .
Volleyball is also already in play under the Anderson County Volleyball League , which holds practices and games during the week and Saturday mornings . Coach Jana Harlow is coaching two teams of players from PJH against teams from Westwood , Cayuga , and Rusk . The league complements the YMCA ’ s volleyball clinics but does not replace them .
PYSO ’ s expansion continues . Plans for a summer track and field program are underway . Flag football , which continued in 2020 , is returning in the fall .
Kindig-Malone is looking to fill as many gaps as possible because she wants to connect Palestine ’ s kids with the sports they want to play at affordable prices .
PYSO board members include Lance Angel , PISD athletic director , Richard Bishop , WISD athletic director ; Jacob Wheeler , PISD maintenance director ; Patsy Smith , the city ’ s parks and recreation director ; and Teresa Hererra , interim city manager .
For information about PYSO , visit the organization ’ s website at www . palestineyouthsportsorganization . com or on Facebook .
CJ Athletics hosts a pitching clinic for under-10 softball players in March .