(Seguin) -- It may not seem like it, but spring is just a month and a half away. And springtime in Seguin, means that kids will soon be heading back outside for a little fun and recreation. Whether it's baseball, softball or soccer -- parents, who want their kids to participate in spring sports, need to get their kids signed up now.
Seguin Little League and the Seguin Youth Soccer organizations are both gearing up for their upcoming seasons for boys and girls of all ages and skill levels.
Seguin Little League Board President Shawn Osborne says Little League for years has drawn both boys and girls out to the diamond. He says Little League is more than just a game. He says it's about community and providing an opportunity to all children.
"The great thing about Little League, the difference than so many other organizations is Little League is here for every single kid in our community. Not necessarily the kids whose parents are willing to travel all over the state or all over the nation to play baseball, but they're able to do it right here in this community. With the community like ours, where we unfortunately do have a large number of
disadvantage children in our community, there's the opportunity for those kids to be able to come out, spend some time with what we as the Little League like to say 'coaches and mentors and sometimes even parent figures for these kids' -- just teach them some things and give them an opportunity to have fun, spend time with their friends and not have to worry about the every day struggles that they may be going through, whether it be at home or school or what have you. So for Little League, it's more than just going out and playing baseball. It's more about learning something and how to be a part of something for some of these kids," said Osborne.
Cost per player is $75. Osborne says whether it's utilizing its new online application process or turning in a paper form, Little League volunteers always look for easy ways for families to sign up their children. He says the original Jan. 31 deadline has now been extended to Feb. 3 in hopes of better accommodating area families.
"We're always willing to work with parents and the community on helping cover that cost if need be. If parents want to come talk to us about it and discuss with us a payment plan or anything like that, we're always willing to do that as well. Yes, applications have been out since end of November, first part of December. We're looking to try to get all of those applications before Feb, 3 so we can start planning for the season and getting teams put together, things like that. We're going to run up right to Feb. 3 until draft day which is Feb. 10th. There will be a $15 late charge on some of that. Once again, if they want to come talk to us, we'll definitely work with them on any of that," said Osborne.
Osborne says he encourages all families to give it a try. He says it's never too late for kids to learn how to swing for the fence.
"I don't want anybody to ever be discouraged by not starting out young or anything like that. We got a great group of coaches and board members that they'll work with these kids and get them there. Kind of our motto down at Little League in Seguin, at least, is it's not about winning necessarily baseball games, but winning with the kids and there's a lot more to it than just going out and winning the game," said Osborne.
Like Little League, the Seguin Youth Soccer Club is also ready to tackle spring. Seguin Youth Soccer President John Ruiz says soccer is open for kids who were born in 2014 up to 12-years-old. He says from development to competitive, there's a team for everyone.
"I've always just enjoyed the sport. I think it's really important right now to make sure the kids get out and get some kind of activities. They've got so many things to tie them down to TVs and phones and computers. It's just really important that they find an outlet to do outside of the house to keep them moving," said Ruiz.
Ruiz says registration is a couple of weeks away and hopes families sign-up as soon as possible.
"Registration will be open until Feb. 15. After that, if there's space available, we will continue to accept applications, but there will be a $10 late registration fee. The easiest way to register is go to our Facebook page Seguin Youth Soccer Club and we have a link available there they can click on. They can register online, pay online and get taken care of very quickly. They'll also have the option to mail in a
payment if they choose to do that. The fees for that are $70 for registration for the season. That includes eight games which begin the weekend after spring break. With that $70, the kids receive a jersey, shorts and socks," said Ruiz.
Ruiz says over the last few years, the program has maybe even doubled in number -- a trend he believes will continue from here on out.
"Right now with our recreational teams and we also have three what we call our traveling or select teams that play neighboring cities, we are sitting around 350 - 360 kids. It may have been even a little bit more last season which has really been great. We've been steadily growing each season for the past few years. I remember in the past when I first joined our spring season, (it) was kind of the slower season and we would have maybe 200 kids. I think the move over to Park West and the more visibility that we have there, the great facility that we regularly use there has really brought attention to the kids in the program. So we've just steadily grown season after season," said Ruiz.
On Saturday, the Seguin Little League Board of Directors will be out at the Smokey Joe Williams Field during Seguin High baseball team family day to receive applications and help answer any questions that someone might have. The board will be at the field from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Online registration can also be found on the Seguin Little League Facebook page. Registration for spring soccer is also now available on the club's Facebook page Seguin Youth Soccer Club.