Wright City struggles with sports sign-ups; Youth baseball open

Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

The Wright City Parks and Recreation Department is struggling to find participants for its spring sports programs, causing the cancellation of youth soccer and putting youth baseball in question.

Parks staff member Liz Schubert said sign-ups for soccer had fallen far short of what the program needs.

“We did not get as many as we needed to even fill two teams,” Schubert said. “We were trying to come up with ideas to not have to cancel it. Maybe playing with smaller teams, or even some training days to help offset some of the games.”

Schubert said there was a gap of about 50 players to get the number the parks department wanted for soccer games to start in March.

However, sports organizers still have hope for the baseball program, which has a later start and is still taking sign-ups. Schubert said she’s received registration for about 3/4 of the boy players she needs, but is shorter on girl players. She said she’s asking parents and kids to reach out to friends and recruit more players.

The target date for baseball sign-ups is Feb. 19, although Schubert said registrations will still be taken after that with a small late fee. If not enough players sign up, baseball organizers might have to make a few adjustments.

“We may have to end up combining age levels to make a team,” Schubert said. “We’ve done that in the past and it’s worked, but we’re trying to avoid that.”

For any families that worry about not being able to pay for sports equipment or sign-up fees, Schubert said local groups are available to sponsor players to help more kids have the opportunity to play.

Schubert speculated that the low sign-ups for soccer and baseball this year is due to a combination of COVID and more kids joining competitive leagues.

“In the past few years, older kids have been moving toward more select leagues, rather than recreational,” Schubert commented. “With COVID, it might have been the one extra thing to push people in that direction.

Other Wright City news

• The Wright City Police Department is seeking a traffic safety grant for the purchase of new radar equipment. A representative of the police department said city leaders will need to sign a letter of support, but that there aren’t any other performance requirements.

Mayor Dan Rowden on Jan. 28 said he wants to double check that there aren’t any traffic enforcement quotas associated with the grant that the city would be challenged to fulfill. The grant application will be revisited in February.

• Wright City officials are also discussing future participation in an ongoing drug take back program, in which people would be able to turn over unused prescription drugs for disposal. The main impediment at the moment is having a secure storage space for the drugs, but city leaders are in favor of meeting that need.

“We need ... a service where we give people a safe way to get rid of (a prescription) without burying it in the trash, because you don’t want it to end up that way,” said Alderman Michelle Heiliger.

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