Archive for Thursday, March 2, 2006

Parks and Recreation preps for busy spring

March 2, 2006

Jay Garvin is about to get help just as his De Soto Parks and Recreation Department ramps up for a busy spring.

Garvin said Justin Huslig accepted a position with the city recreation department created earlier this year. His arrival March 15 will coincide with the city's push to market the new aquatic center behind City Hall and round out its operational plan.

Huslig currently works for the Grant County Recreation Commission in the southwestern Kansas town of Ulysses. His basic duties were to manage indoor and outdoor pools.

"I think with the leadership you have right now and my added leadership the pool should be in great shape," Huslig said. "It's something new for me and a new challenge."

Having an assistant concentrate on the pool during its critical opening year will give Garvin time to concentrate on other duties, which this year will include the city's youth baseball leagues. The recreation department is also taking over that responsibility from the De Soto Youth Baseball Association. Garvin said the switch was made at the request of the DYBA's board.

"I certainly didn't have a goal of taking over youth baseball," he said. "They were having trouble finding volunteers, and most of their leadership no longer had children young enough to play in the league."

Youth baseball would be managed in the same manner as the girls softball league the city has run for several years, Garvin said.

Garvin said youth baseball's competition level would stay the same. Two summers ago, the DYBA switched to a recreation competition format and started playing teams from surrounding communities. This summer, the local teams will play those from Eudora, Gardner, Spring Hill, Wellsville and Baldwin.

Since 2003, the DYBA has been the host of a state tournament in late July. Garvin said that would return this summer and then be re-evaluated.

The registration deadline for youth baseball is March 10. More information can be found at the city's Web site desotoks.us.

Team and field drafts will be scheduled for following weeks, Garvin said.

The recreation department would soon acquire more space in the Community Center for a several popular programs, Garvin said. The De Soto City Council agreed last month to allow the recreation department to use the old library near the current De Soto Senior Center.

Garvin said the space would be used for what were now a combination aerobics and yoga class and kids' dance classes.

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