Posted on Aug 19, 2021
The Mineral Wells Youth Sports Association is ready to kick off its fall 2021 season. Offering flag and tackle football, cheer, soccer and girls and boys basketball, MWYSA is strong in numbers of participating youth, association president Jack Thomas told Mineral Wells Rotarians on Wednesday. Thomas is pictured with this week's program chair Amy Jones.
Formerly the Mineral Wells Optimist Club, MWYSA formed in 2018 with the vision of offering more opportunities for local youth to participate in organized athletics. Citing his own examples growing up in a troubled family, Thomas said youth sports programs are about more than wins and losses on the field. It is about helping to make young adults who win at life as adults.

Thomas said the organization early on formed close working relationships with the Mineral Wells ISD athletic directors and coaching staffs. He praised current athletic directors Seth Hobbs (boys) and Tony Rafaelle (girls) for their leadership and engagement with MWYSA and for making sure coaches throughout the district help and support the programs.

With low numbers of youth involved when the new organization formed and understanding the economic struggles many local families face, the board drastically cut participation fees that more than doubled the numbers of youth signing up. That put the organization operating at a financial loss initially and since then some fee adjustments have been made. But Thomas said fees are still lower than they were and remain well under fees charged by area programs like Millsap, Brock, Weatherford and Aledo.

Still, even with coming up slightly in participation fees, Thomas said there is still more than 200 youth participating in the upcoming season. He said the organization needs to charge a fee that lets the organization pay its expenses.

“We are not trying to make a profit or build up a big bank account,” Thomas said.

In football, MWYSA has evolved and grown to a point it was able to merge with a collection of other North Texas youth sports organizations to create a bigger and more competitive league that allows Mineral Wells teams to play teams from other Class 4A towns and even some 5A communities like Aledo.

The organization is always in need of coaches, sponsors and volunteers. You can register to become a coach or volunteer or make contributions to help with expenses or sponsor players who can't afford the full fee by going to the MWYSA website. You can also find the organization on Facebook.

Rotary Club of Mineral Wells meets every Wednesday at noon at Southside Church of Christ, with lunches catered by Sadie's Eats. Meetings for club members, prospective members and invited guests.