Hopkins Park keeps Jeff Myles hopping
Jeff Myles has been a busy guy for the last 17 years.
As the athletic coordinator over Hopkins Park and the other areas that make up the Dekalb Park District, Myles coordinates tournaments, teams and coaches to ensure everyone gets a chance to play.
“I’ve always wanted to be around sports," he told the Kankakee Times. "It has been a great experience to work with the communities and communicate with parents and kids to develop our sports."
Myles said he particularly likes the range of athletes and sports the parks bring in.
“The most popular sports for adults are our coed softball and baseball," he said. "A lot of people like kickball, too. On the kids' side, we start off with a Wiffle ball team. We also offer Pickleball, and that seems to be growing.
“We have a lot of t-ball, baseball and softball. We just recently started a Lacrosse program.”
A big chunk of Myles’ job is coordinating with coaches. Often they come to him when looking for people to join a team or a league.
“We are very team-oriented,” Myles said. “Most of the time people wanting to get involved contact the teams directly. Managers get with me, too, to see if anybody is looking to play.
The park also offers year-round sports, like soccer which is played on outside during every season except winter, and is sponsored by the American Youth Soccer Organization. When the snow falls it is moved to an indoor league.
“AYSO does a summer and fall program,” Myles said. “We do two 10-week sessions during the winter. We try to line it up with other programs we offer, like volleyball and basketball. We even have an indoor softball league.”
Hopkins Park has been offering its programs since 2000, and as the programs continue to grow, and the level of competition increases — so do the prizes.
“Everyone that signs up is eligible for postseason play,” Myles said. “In our softball league we have 16 teams and we split them up into two divisions. We seed them 1 thru 8 based on their record.
“It’s a two week tournament. We are also going to do the same type of format for Pickelball this year. We offer the same format for our younger programs, and we try to play with Sycamore and Genoa. We really try to get everybody involved.”
Organizations in this Story
1403 Sycamore Rd
DeKalb, IL - 60115