City recognized for sports facilities - Cape Noon Optimists given Community Impact Award
Sports Destination Magazine, a trade journal, is highlighting Cape Girardeau as a new and emerging sports market.
In its latest edition, the publication targeted what it called a “carefully curated list” of 19 cities in 11 states.
Cape made SDM’s cut for having “professional-grade facilities…a mix of environments (catering) to nearly every popular sport and all within 10 minutes of a major highway and other amenities.”
The city’s variety of outdoor fields was praised as was the indoor SportsPlex at 2526 Jim Drury Way.
It is sometimes said that if there is no margin, there is no mission.
In charitable fundraising this phrase is used to describe the need for funding to complete worthwhile projects and to pay for ongoing programs.
At its seventh annual Celebration of Youth Sports Award Banquet Jan. 24 at Osage Center, Cape Girardeau’s Parks and Recreation department recently recognized the Cape Noon Optimists for its help providing the margin for its mission.
“These local awards are our version of the ESPYs,” said Scott Williams, a division manager with Parks and Recreation, referring to the cable network’s annual televised fete for athletes and others.
The service club received the department’s Community Impact Award for its long-term financial commitment to the city’s sports venues and programs – providing well over $200,000 in overall funding over a 20-year period.
“No other volunteer group…has dedicated more to providing opportunities for the youth of this community than the Cape Noon Optimists,” said Williams.
On an ongoing basis, the club helps support youth leagues, helping to keep them operating year after year.
“I remember when the city took over girls basketball,” said Pat McCann, secretary of Cape Noon Optimists. “It was really floundering (back then) but we’ve got a good partnership now.”
Williams, in bestowing the honor to the 67-member club, noted the following contributions by Cape Noon Optimists:
|•||$30,000 toward upgrades to Shawnee Park Sports Complex (playgrounds on the soccer and softball areas);|
|•||$40,000 toward equipment at Cape SportsPlex;|
|•||$50,000 toward the XTreme Sports facility in Wheel Park (Arena Park - completed spring 2019);|
|•||$100,000 toward Melaina’s Magical Playground in Cape County Park;|
|•||$6,000 provided annually since 2013 to Parks and Recreation and its foundation – as presenting sponsor for SMASH volleyball, league sponsor for girls and boys youth basketball, youth soccer and youth track. The group is event sponsors for the 2020 awards banquet, for parks and rec day, for spaghetti day and breakfast with Santa.|
Other special awards presented:
|•||Sponsor of the Year – SoutheastHealth|
|•||Youth Sports Official of the Year – Kevin Francis|
|•||Life Achievement Award – Bill Bohnert|
Athlete of the Year – Cash Boyer.
JUNIOR NBA BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Kevin Williams
Athlete of the Year – Jaylyn Whitfield
Team of the Year – Jazz
YOUTH SOCCER LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Craig Schumer
Male Athlete of the Year – Harken Cork
Female Athlete of the Year –Hanah Weber
Team of the Year – Cape Avengers
YOUTH TRACK CLUB
Male Athlete of the Year – Ozzie Turner
Female Athlete of the Year – Emilei Sterling
NFL FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Craig Clippard
Athlete of the Year – Jory Thoma
Team of the Year – Redskins
GIRLS SOFTBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Johnny Carter
Athlete of the Year – Sophie Cook
Team of the Year – Window World
BOYS BASEBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year –Matt Gaeta
Athlete of the Year – Jacob Thurston
Team of the Year – Reds
FALL YOUTH VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Brian Russell
Athlete of the Year – Carlee Kilby
Team of the Year – Tender Harts Learning Center
CAPE YOUTH TACKLE FOOTBALL
Cheerleading Coach of the Year - Beth Coonts
Cheerleader of the Year – Emilei Sterling
Cheerleading Squad of the Year – Xplosion
Football Coach of the Year – Johnny Treadwell
Football Player of the Year – Eli Sitton
Football Team of the Year – Bengals
Travel Team of the Year – Pursuit 13’s Elite
Coach of the Year – Kelsi Siebert
Athlete of the Year – Journey Black
GIRLS YOUTH BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Matt Preusser
Athlete of the Year – Jade Berry
Team of the Year – Oran Eagles
BOYS BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Coach of the Year – Nathan McGuire
Athlete of the Year – Lucas McGuire
Team of the Year – Cape Young Gentlemen