Youth Excited about Sports is making a difference in the lives of at-risk, underprivileged youth in Warrensburg and Johnson County. D.L. Moody said “if God is your partner, you better have big plans.”

Well, God is our partner – and we have big plans! Youth Excited about Sports (Y.E.S.) is dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of sports by incorporating Christian values such as sportsmanship, teamwork, cooperation, fair-play, and character building while also teaching youth to have fun. And the youth of today NEED us!

The youth of today are hurting and desperately need someone like us to be there for them!

Discontent. Isolation. Individualism. Not these sicknesses themselves, rather symptoms of a disease called rejection. The youth today – like never before, feel discarded, refused, ignored, and pushed aside to self-absorption.

Parents don’t understand them, most authorities can’t reach them, and the system can’t deal with them.

They are part of a generation slipping through our fingers. We are losing them to suicide, gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, crime, and violence. Consider the following Kids Count information for Johnson County:

– There are 42,000 residents of Johnson County; 20% are under 18 years of age.
– A child in Johnson County runs away from home every other day.
– More than 350 children have experienced disclosed child abuse/neglect in the past two years.
– One student drops out of high school every week.
– Just over 150 births to teenagers 15 to 19 years old were reported between 1997 and 2001.
– About 66% of the youth in the area will use alcohol three times per month by the time they are seniors.

All the while, statistics indicate that their parents or another meaningful adult seem to be either physically or emotionally absent to most children and youth:

– The average youth spends 38 seconds a week in meaningful interaction with a parent.
– Single parent families represent half of the families in America. Many of these parents work two jobs and are often gone for long periods of time.
– In a typical year, more than one-third of all children in the United States will not even see their dad.

The pre-teen and teen world today is a radically different place than their parents ever experienced. Due to this lack of understanding, there is a major “disconnect” taking place among our youth.

In a Newsweek article dated April 8, 2000, General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State of the United States, stated “The problem of troubled youth is the biggest threat to the future of the United States. The amazing thing about this problem is that we know what the solution is. . . a memorable positive life experience and a relationship with a caring adult: a teacher, a mentor, a coach, or a parent.”

Youth Excited about Sports was created to reach out to this important group of youth and respond to this need in our community. We are strategically positioned to offer help, hope and encouragement to this incredibly important segment of our community.

We provide year-round sports opportunities for the youth of Warrensburg and Johnson County. Baseball and softball, basketball, bowling, and soccer, making these sports opportunities available to ALL of the youth of our area that desire to participate.

In fact, Y.E.S. was established to provide quality athletic instruction, as well as to offer children, parents, and coaches the excitement of youth sports. Competition is an important part of all of our lives. It is not a winning or losing philosophy, but a valuable life lesson that builds character, self-esteem, and friendships. It is important to give youth the opportunity to participate in a positive atmosphere and be exposed to quality mentors. We are about building self-esteem and character in our kids. We look forward to taking a leadership role in the community and serve as advocates for ALL youth. Y.E.S.’s commitment is to strive for excellence in all we do.

Young people will learn moral lessons and develop positive character. They will learn about what is and is not appropriate interactions between individuals and groups in society. They will learn about fairness and respect as-well-as lessons about healthy competition and sportsmanship. These lessons, learned in youth sports, can AND will influence how they live out their lives as adults.

Providing directed efforts to create a program that is inline with traditional Christian values is and accessible regardless of race, gender, religion and ethnic culture, AND WITHOUT regard to financial considerations is important to us. We’ll achieve this by having trained staff, parent involvement and qualified volunteer assistance. The result will be that youth will begin to develop values such as self-respect, character, compassion and caring for each other, and fairness. Providing coaches with the understanding that the sporting arena is a classroom – the kids are the students and the coach is the teacher. Just as teachers may use books and chalk boards as their tools to educate, we use sporting programs to identify and develop those characteristics that are valuable in all aspects of life. These lessons will go far beyond the immediate activity and in turn set the foundation for ongoing development to take place.

Providing experiences that develop physical, mental, and social well-being especially for those of disadvantaged circumstances. Assuring all boys and girls can afford to belong. Awarding scholarships based on academic achievement, athletic ability, character, etc.

Please consider our request and respond favorably. If you need additional information, please feel free to call me at (660) 909-6797 . Please accept my sincere “thanks” for your leadership in the area of caring for the needs of our youth. We believe, as you do, that the youth are the most valuable natural resource we have, and without them our country has a dramatically reduced future. I am proud of you and what you are doing for the youth of Warrensburg and around the country.

Respectfully Requested,

O. J. Rhone, Founder and Executive Director
Youth Excited about Sports, Incorporated