Way back in the day there was Little League Baseball. Softball wasn’t introduced until the mid-70s. And that was about it. Kids rode bikes around the neighborhood for hours and played GI Joe and Barbie in the front yard, and we all turned out okay.
But things changed. Beginning in the 70s, college enrollment grew exponentially and suddenly it wasn’t enough to simply be smart. Applicants needed a competitive edge, whether their talents were in sports or the arts. The 70s also marked the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and female participation in sports skyrocketed. As the popularity of youth sports evolved, backed by a countless number of statistics extolling the physical, emotional and social benefits, so did parents’ dedication to exposing their kids to as many opportunities as possible. It’s safe to say that a lot of kids are introduced to team sports as early as 4 years old. Parents huddle together at early Saturday morning games and sign up for snacks, including this Boomer.
Nowadays, kids have the opportunity to try a variety of sports to determine interest and talent — some sports stick and some don’t. For some it’s recreational, while others continue on to highly competitive levels. In Boerne and the surrounding areas, access to a wide range of sports has never been greater. And both parents and kids recognize that the effort reaps rewards.
Regardless whether kids choose to play recreationally or competitively, or what their sport of choice is, the experience stays with them well beyond school years. Joe De Luna, Director of Golf at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, said it is so rewarding as a tennis professional to give a child an opportunity to learn a sport for a lifetime. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to go from a beginner to an advanced player. Here at the Tennis Club, we have had so many kids that have taken this path from beginner to a middle school player to a high school varsity player. It’s great to know that if they choose not to play in college, they still can play for the rest of their lives,” shared De Luna.
Like the Tennis Club, The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch Golf Club has also helped junior members foster a love and appreciation for the game. Katie Dillard, Player Development Coordinator, said, “There is nothing better than seeing a junior golfer excited about the sport you love, and we could not be prouder seeing a player’s hard work pay off.”
But there is more that happens on the court or course than mastering a sport. “As Jack Nicklaus once said, ‘a child grows up much faster on the golf course.’ Golf is about so much more than just playing the game. From honesty and integrity to handling adversity and social skills, junior golfers learn countless valuable life skills and lessons along the way, which have a lasting impact. Coaches witness junior golfers blossom into goal orientated, dedicated and mature young adults,” added Dillard.
At Cordillera Ranch, youth sports are encouraged, with opportunities throughout the Clubs and designated practice areas. A soccer field and half basketball court are near the entrance and the river park has a half football practice field. The new Springs Sports Park consists of a basketball court, football/soccer field and baseball/softball field, along with miles of hike-and-bike trails and are utilized regularly by residents. Renee and Scott King shared, “We moved here when our boys were just 7 and 3. It has been fun to see the opportunities for sports and other types of activities for kids grow. Jacob was one of a handful of youth golfers years ago but that has sure changed. The investment in facilities, coaching and engagement in golf at all levels has been great for us. Our other son, Joshua, is a sophomore at BHS and is literally 7 feet tall and plays basketball. We participate in the select teams in Boerne and San Antonio, but we most appreciate the new hoops over at Cordillera Springs. He is there a couple of times a week to practice. It is so fun and convenient to have that (and the baseball fields) five minutes from our house.”
There are many youth clubs for every sport throughout the Boerne/Hill Country area and San Antonio, and often athletes travel to Austin and beyond to play at the most competitive levels. Parents of longtime athletes know that word-of-mouth is the most effective way to find a team. Here are a few to get started.
D-BAT: With boys in baseball, owners and Cordillera Ranch residents, Han and Ben Guerrero, recognized the need for additional training facilities and opened D-Bat two years ago. Since then, they have been impressed with the work ethic and dedication of their members, particularly softball girls, five of which will go to play at collegiate levels this year alone. Baseball and softball training extends to private lessons, camps, clinics, batting cages for baseball, fast pitch softball and slow pitch softball and birthday parties. Every year, D-Bat hosts Middle School Mayhem, a baseball tournament that provides a place for middle schoolers to play and join in friendly competition. This year’s event will take place December 2-4. www.dbatboerne.com
THE DUGOUT: Services include personal baseball training, camps and clinics. The Dugout shares space with D1 Sports, (owned by Club Members the Hoegemeyers and Perezes) which offers athletic-based and sports-specific training for ages 7+. www.thedugoutofboerne.com, www.d1training.com
Boerne Family YMCA: Basketball, flag football, soccer and volleyball are offered throughout the year. In San Antonio, dance/gymnastics/cheer, martial arts and tennis are available. Inclusive sports are offered in partnership with Morgan’s Wonderland and there are even egaming leagues. www.ymcasatx.org/boerne
Catholic Youth Organization (CYO): A variety of sports are offered throughout the year for boys, girls and co-ed teams and include baseball, softball, basketball, cheer, flag football, soccer and volleyball.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton CYO Athletics: www.seasyouthathletics.com
St. Peters Boerne CYO: www.stpetersboerne.com/cyo
BASEBALL & SOFTBALL
Boerne Little League: www.boernelittleleague.com
Select Baseball Clubs: There are many boys Select Baseball Clubs in Boerne and San Antonio and most athletes continue playing in addition to their high school teams.
Boerne Bucks: www.boernebucks.com
Canes Southwest: www.canessouthwest.com
Lobos Baseball South: www.lobos-baseball.com
Lonestar Baseball Club South: www.prospectprepbaseball.com
South Texas Tribe: www.facebook.com/southtexastribe
Texas Twelve: www.texastwelve.com
Select Softball Clubs: As popular as baseball, select softball clubs span throughout Texas. Texas Blaze: www.texasblaze.org
Texas Bombers: www.bombersfastpitch.net
Texas Glory: www.texasgloryfastpitch.com
Texas Prime Athletics: www.texasprimeathletics.com
Texas Hardwork: www.facebook.com/texashardwork
FOOTBALL & CHEER
Boerne Youth Football and Cheer Association: More commonly known as Boerne Bulls, the program provides recreational youth tackle football and cheer experience. The program is open to all participants regardless of size and experience. In 2023, teams will be aligned with our high school attendance boundaries: Greyhounds and Chargers. www.boernebulls.com
Boerne Lacrosse: tshq.bluesombrero.com/boernelaxtx
Boerne Soccer Club: Spring and fall seasons accommodate ages 3-18. Many kids in the competitive Academy and Select programs continue to play in high school and college, having trained under high school and collegiate coaches on staff. The recreational program has 750+ players. www.boernesoccer.org
Toro Soccer Academy: With fall and spring seasons, and players grouped by birth year, Toro offers beginner instruction to competitive teams with disciplined curriculum for boys and girls. www.torosocceracademy.com
Aqua Swift Boerne: Ages 5 to 21 compete year-round in this community program. www.aquaswiftboerne.com
TRACK & FIELD
Hill Country Comets: Training for all track and field events is offered for ages 8-18 with meets at state and national competition levels. Event specific coaches also train high school athletes. www.hillcountrycomets.com
Most clubs offer varying levels of play — from recreation to national levels. A few closest to the Boerne area:
Alamo Volleyball Association: www.alamovolleyball.com
Bulverde Volleyball Club: www.bulverdevolleyball.com
Hill Country Volleyball: www.boernelittleleague.com
Ignite Volleyball Club: www.ignitevolleyballclub.com