When the Royse City Council was informed that the Royse City Youth Baseball and Softball Association would no longer be able to manage the city’s youth leagues, it faced the possibility of having to halt league operations altogether.
Not wanting to leave hundreds of children in the area potentially without baseball and softball leagues, the council created a recreation coordinator position in December 2017, an opportunity that long-time baseball and softball aficionado Jason Saulters was happy to take up.
“I just like to get out and play and have a good time, and it’s just something I’ve always enjoyed; I love watching it, I love coaching it, I just love being around it,” Saulters said.
Before being named the official lead for the city’s baseball and softball programs, Saulters made his bones as a softball coach, an umpire for the Amateur Softball Association and the commissioner for the youth softball league in Caddo Mills.
Now, he will have a chance to bring more than 10 years of experience to Royse City’s programs.
Saulters, who has a baseball background as a high school athlete, also is a father of four children, all whom have experience playing either baseball or softball. He said this would make him more able to empathize with parents who decide to participate in youth leagues.
At its monthly regular meeting on Jan. 23, the council unanimously approved Saulters’ hiring. He will operate under the Parks and Recreation Department, and will be responsible for overseeing various community events in addition to managing the youth baseball, softball and tee-ball leagues.
“I definitely don’t think this (position) is something we can do without,” Mayor Janet Nichol said at the Jan. 23 meeting.
Martin Torres, the city’s parks and facilities superintendent, was responsible for the vetting and hiring for the new position. He said that Saulters was the most qualified of the six applicants for the spot.
“I could have gotten someone who could just do all the schedules and work behind the computer, but I wanted someone who could step in, answer questions and be more helpful,” Torres said.
Saulters said that the financial burden behind the upkeep of youth baseball and softball leagues is light, and said that the city will be able to afford the costs through sign-up fees, which range from $50 to $100, depending on the age of the children involved. The leagues for 2018 are scheduled to start March 17.
“If you keep kids active and if you keep them involved in the community, I think it says a lot and it does a lot for the kids,” Saulters said. “It teaches them responsibility and discipline, and it will help them even as they get older.”