YOUNGSVILLE — With eight people named to the new Advisory Board for Recreation, youth athletics in Youngsville is in a unique position for growth, city Councilman Jamey Abshire told the council Thursday.
Abshire, who was named athletics chairman earlier this year, said he’s taking great pride in leading this initiative.
“We have a unique opportunity to mold and design this to where we want it to be,” Abshire said. “Our youth is the future, and I want to give them the best opportunities necessary.”
Abshire presented the names of the other eight people serving on the advisory board, who have more than 120 years’ combined experience volunteering with youth athletics: Abshire’s brother Jim Abshire, Catherine Cassidy, John Domingue, Todd Landry, Buffy Massey, Tim Robichaux, Matt Romero and Ken Stansbury.
“I know how hard volunteering is, and it takes a whole lot to volunteer as long as these people have,” Jamey Abshire said. “I have the utmost confidence that these guys can get it done.”
Massey, who has served on the Lafayette Parish Recreation Advisory Commission, said the biggest concern for the board will be to get it right.
“Everything is about what is best for the children and how it relates to youth athletics,” Massey said. “I believe we have a great group not only experiencewise, but we have a lot of people into different things and can relate to different things. Hopefully, we can get some things done that will be best for athletics in this area.”
Cassidy — the lone female on the board — is the former Acadiana High women’s basketball coach and current assistant principal. She said her responsibility is the same as everyone else’s.
“A lot of the men on the board have daughters,” Cassidy said. “The advantage I have being a female on the board and coaching females for the majority of my life is making sure the females are included in the foresight of the committee. It’s an honor to be on the board and I don’t think they’ll look at me any differently, and I don’t want them to.
“I’ve been in coaching all my life. For the most part, it’s a man’s world, but it’s no different. The male and female perspective is no different. You’re an athlete and you’re playing sports.”
Mayor Ken Ritter said he is “very encouraged” by the team.
Abshire said the advisory board’s opportunity to mold the future of youth athletics in Youngsville is exciting.
“The sky is the limit,” he said. “We are making our own rules. We are playing by our guidelines. Our children have been put under the thumb (of the parish) for a long while — 18 years since I have been there. We haven’t been given the opportunity to excel as much as we could have. That is not saying the parish has done a bad job, but we have a unique opportunity and we are going to take our kids along for the ride as best as we can.”