City, school officials ‘play ball’ to open youth season

MCALLEN– As warmer weather conditions begin to roll in, the transition in sports take place – baseball and softball are here. On Sunday, the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen held the Alumni and Friends Softball game at McAllen Municipal Park to open the youth baseball season.

The Boys & Girls Club invited several officials to participate including the club staff, club alumni as well as McAllen City Commissioners and McAllen ISD school board members.

The city and school officials traded their formal attire for casual wear for a friendly game of softball.

Mark Magnon, board president for the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen joked “I think we had more injuries than runs scored.”

“It’s really about the kids, the opening ceremony and what I wanted to do was really make an environment where the board (of directors), some of the alumni get more people involved with the club and hear our story,” Magnon said. “It was more just to get everyone together, so we had our board presidents, alumni, city officials and the school district. Those are all partners of ours that we use, so it was just camaraderie and getting everyone together and remembering what we’re here for – the kids to have fun.”

It began as a brainstorming idea by Magnon two weeks ago and approximately a week of planning and notification with everyone on board at once.

“We hope to make this an annual event and I think we will,” he said.

The afternoon was full of laughter and enjoyment for the area children. Before each game, the players took their time to practice and did quick exercises in hopes not to strain a muscle or cause strenuous injury.

Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen said “we always come cheer on the kids, so now it’s the opposite with the adults.”

“I think one of the cool things, is that this is a good sample for the city and how we all come together and in my short time I’ve noticed that our partners like the city, the school board, our board of directors; when it comes to kids, everyone is here to help the kids of McAllen and everyone immediately said yes to come play.” Gonzalez-Alcantar said. “I think that is a really good testament of our community and everyone is here for the kids and steps up.”

Players were divided up among four teams.

“We could’ve easily done staff and alumni, but it was important that we invited McAllen because they’re big players in our success.” Magnon said. “We want to build the relationships with the school district and the city.”