Sunday, October 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Conrad is back where she belongs, coordinating youth hoops

BruceGallaudetW

By
From page B1 | March 14, 2014 |

The Great Experiment with the city of Davis’ junior basketball program has ended, and the youth league now returns to the capable direction of city of Davis program coordinator Lori Conrad.

The Community Services Department, dealing with ongoing personnel cutbacks, farmed out the Davis recreational hoops program, which serves almost 400 boys and girls in third grade through junior high. A private contractor gave it its best shot this winter, but participants found out what I’ve known for almost three decades — nobody runs things with more efficiency and love than Conrad.

“What initially happened with the junior basketball program, and some of our youth sports programs, is that the city has gone through a number of staffing cuts,” Community Services Superintendent Samantha Wallace told me this week.

“Halfway through (the 2013 season), we were looking at where the city is in a couple of years, so we were looking at some programs that one person has been doing for a very long period of time,” Wallace explains, adding: “We know folks like Lori won’t be here for another 10 to 15 years.”

In planning for the future, Conrad’s responsibility changed and rec basketball was reassigned to another coordinator. However, that coordinator left during the program sign-up period, and Conrad’s new plate already was overflowing.

Wallace said the private contractor came highly recommended and she knew the company by reputation. The city took a shot.

While the program was not poorly run, there were hiccups. Wallace discovered there’s nothing like home cooking, especially when Conrad’s the chef.

“It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to,” Wallace continued. “This type of program, with the amount of kids involved — and that we don’t have gym space available, that we’re outdoors (and working around) the weather. … There are just a lot pieces.”

One of those elements that make recreational leagues so much fun is parent involvement. Twenty-five years ago, there were lots of volunteers involved — parents who were being introduced to sports coaching.

These days, not so much.

Wallace and Conrad are busy trying to get the word out about the joy of being around one’s kid, teaching him/her and friends a new sport. At this level, done right, there is no pressure. The sport still teems with sportsmanship.

Wallace says the city is launching an online survey of parents of this year’s participants, weighing the interest in having more volunteers and asking what needs improvement after The Great Experiment.

Conrad understands, though, that making the time to coach can be difficult — and the city has a narrow alley it navigates each winter.

“We’re very restricted on what we can offer, where and when,” Conrad explains. “There are a lot of parents who love (that practice is) right after school, on site, because they don’t have to drive their kids all over town. The parents sign up for the times and days they want their kids to practice.

“The parents have difficulty, if they work a regular 9-to-5 job,” she says of the opportunities to coach. “They feel like they’re stuck: ‘How can we volunteer?’ It gets dark at 5 or 5:30. That’s probably the biggest hindrance to parent volunteers.”

At this point, it must be noted I have a bias in all this …

For 25 years or so, I’ve volunteered as a coach.

It has been joyous. Regardless of record, year after year, our teams lead the league in pizza parties as well as trips to UC Davis and Blue Devil basketball games and practices.

The first few years, my own children were playing. But I knew even then that the experience had me at “hello.”

If parents have the chance to get involved with recreation basketball — especially since it’s returned home, under the city staff’s supervision — they should do that carpe diem thing.

One byproduct of getting more volunteers is that the cost per participant will be kept down.

Another neat thing is that if more folks volunteer to coach, there are still plenty of funded jobs for high school and college students. Having two trained officials and diligent scorekeepers adds to the atmosphere, and if there are plenty of paid spots for youthful coaches, what a great introduction to real-world responsibility.

Conrad has had the magic touch selecting these “employees.”

“If parents are reluctant to be the coach,” Conrad mentioned, “they can help (as assistants) so they can learn and maybe coach their team the following season. We have no problem with parents helping that way … that would be great.”

Yep, for everybody.

While I Have You Here: It was my pleasure to be involved with the César Chávez Elementary School third-/fourth-grade girls team, the Ice Cold Chili Peppers, this season. I’ve never written about my past teams, but the nine kids on this full-of-hustle team were a delight — and they kept looking at this column for some hint of their 7-1 season.

We did some fun stuff this winter — including heading out to a UCD women’s basketball practice and a Thursday night game (thanks to Aggie coach Jennifer Gross). Pizza was terrific at our year-end outing, and I learned so much from Una, Kate, May, Kalea, Paige, Kit-Kat, Becca, Grace and Nithmi.

Seriously, if you get the chance, get involved in this great city league.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

$18.75M grant aims to build global food security

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Return to sender: MRAP removal options go to council

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Housing First pilot project targets West Sac homeless

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Howzat! Cricket tradition grows in Davis

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hawaii hit by winds, rain as hurricane veers west

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Evidentiary hearing set for man shot by CHP

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Cop witnesses car-pedestrian collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Guns to be discharged at police range

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Donate used books at Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Love-life tips on ‘Heart to Heart’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
DHS ski and snowboard swap set on Nov. 9

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Quiz Master Gardeners at open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Firefighters on the town

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

 
Senior Computer Club hears from county official

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Safe viewing of solar eclipse planned

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Fill the Boot for the hungry

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Crash victim ID’d as Woodland man

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Apply by Friday for Biberstein grants

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Esparto home targeted in three-city pot bust

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

 
Wolk earns perfect score from senior advocates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

UCD celebrates 50 years of global agricultural success

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Special education information night scheduled

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

Be on the lookout for tagged Monarch butterflies

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Old news disturbs the present

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
A bionic hand with feeling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Are we there yet? Yik Yakking the day away

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

 
Take time to reach out for help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Teach cyclists to obey laws

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

 
Let’s take Davis’ energy future seriously

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

Ain’t Snow Mountain high enough

By Our View | From Page: A14

 
Proposed lights harm kids

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

Be careful cycling on Fifth

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Water theater isn’t fun

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

Elect Granda to board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Yes on Prop. 47: reasonable changes to curb recidivism, save money

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

No on Prop. 47: an end to safe neighborhoods, and more victims

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
.

Sports

Vargas emerges from crowded Aggie WR corps

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Competitive Aggies fall at No. 6/7 Montana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils stick it to Chico, cancer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

JV Devils fall to Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Niemi leads Sharks to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

UCD roundup: Big crowd sees Aggies nip Guachos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
Davis is a temple for fine beverages

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Arcadia Biosciences earns spot on global innovation list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
35 employers will be at West Sac job fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Rob White: Building an economy on innovation

By Rob White | From Page: A6

 
.

Obituaries

Peggy Belenis Swisher

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Sadie Louise Barga

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Morgan Wheeler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, October 19, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8