As the country anticipates Super Bowl LVII this Sunday, football was also the main topic of conversation at Tuesday’s Bellefontaine Joint Recreation District (BJRD) board meeting. The board heard from Josh Stolly, the Bellefontaine Youth Football administrator.
Stolly updated the members on plans for the 2023 season and looked for their approval to join the Little Miami Valley League.
Besides the regular JV and varsity tackle football teams, Stolly hopes to move forward with a flag football option, specifically set up for younger players who aren’t quite ready for the intensity of the tackle games.
“We’ve seen a change in parents’ willingness for kids to play tackle football,” Stolly said.
Parks Superintendent Kris Myers agreed, saying they’d seen numbers slide over the last few years.
Adding a flag football option was considered a good step in that regard, with the potential to significantly boost the number of participants. Tackle practices would take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with games on Saturdays while the flag football teams would practice on Mondays and have additional practices and games on Thursday nights.
On Myers’ recommendation, the board approved a one-year participation in the LMV league, contingent on the bylaws they’ll present in March, with plans to revisit the program’s success after the season. These bylaws will be like those for other BJRD sports.
Besides Stolly, who also serves as Bellefontaine’s law director, many of the volunteer coaches attended the meeting in support of the program, something noted by the board.
“Coaching is a thankless job,” board member Joan Haushalter. “We’re happy to let you do something you’re willing to do.”
As part of the discussion, board member Davey Roberts encouraged Stolly and his team to work with the Bellefontaine High School coaches to make sure the participants know basic BHS plays.
Amy Kerns, who is looking forward to her first year as cheerleading coach, was in attendance as well. She predicts they’ll have about 20 girls on each squad, JV and varsity.
In other board action:
- Myers gave the board quick updates on several regular items, starting with letting them know he expects the recreational baseball registrations to remain comparable to past numbers.
- The new playgrounds at Myrtle and Ratliff parks have been installed and only need new mulch before they’ll be ready for spring weather fun.
- According to Myers, the Logan County Land Trust has taken a particular interest in a 1800s-era log cabin that was moved to Camp Myeerah in the 1960s. They’re looking into funding, including grants, as they consider the best steps to preserve the building as well as determine how to use it in the future.
- The new Hoffman Pool covers have been ordered at a cost of $7,500. Applications for summer positions have been sent out to previous staff. In addition, Myers expects there will be a change in management at the pool in the near future. “I think I have a plan,” he said, “but I’m not ready to announce it yet.”
- Wednesday morning, Myers met with the Master Plan steering committee. He informed the board they’re “moving forward and excited about what the final product will look like.”
- Bellefontaine resident Tyler Rister attended the meeting to speak in support of updating the city skate park, which is showing signs of wear. The well-used park has been around about a decade. Rister described it as metal works on asphalt, and that metal is starting to bend and break.
- Original plans to put the park on concrete didn’t happen. “We were young then,” Rister said. “We’re adults now and know how funding works.”
- For the time being, they’re putting what Rister described as “Band-aid” fixes on the park equipment until they have the backing of the board and financial support to get things more up-to-date. In response to a question, Myers told the board this project has been identified in the Master Plan as a need to be addressed.
- Myers stated the BJRD remains financially stable, adding, “We’re good at living within this budget and will continue down this path.” The board also accepted the 2022 organization financial report.
The next regular BJRD board meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in the Bellefontaine city council chambers.