City recognized for sports facilities - Cape Noon Optimists given Community Impact Award

Members of the Cape Noon Optimists Club recognized Jan. 24 at the Celebration of Youth Sports Banquet at Osage Center with the Community Impact Award. (l-r) Kevin Noel, Percy Huston, Rodney Hurt, Bill Humphries, Pat McCann, Jeff Glenn, Dan Berry, Lonnie Lusk, and Ron MacCubbin.
Tyler Graef ~ tgraef@semissourian.com

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

More winners:

JUNIOR GOLF

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

Travel Team of the Year – Pursuit 13’s Elite

S*M*A*S*H VOLLEYBALL

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

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