PAOLA — For 25 years there were opportunities for boys and girls to play basketball, volleyball and flag football thanks to Miola 4 Sports.
Tommy and Jayme Morris served the community with their time and efforts into organizing, scheduling and day-to-day operations of Miola 4 Sports.
Paola Youth Sports was formed, and in November it incorporated Miola 4 Sports, offering the same programs in addition to its work with baseball and softball.
“He taught me a lot about how to do it,” said Scott Golubski of Paola Youth Sports. “He showed me how to be involved in the community.”
Tommy and Jayme started volunteering their time with Miola Basketball in 1993 with programs for boys and girls from third grade through sixth grade. Teams were added for seventh grade and eighth grade by 1995. High school basketball divisions were added. Teams were also added for volleyball.
Miola 4 Sports was created, and by 2005, the organization was offering boys and girls basketball from kindergarten through 12th grade, volleyball from third grade through sixth grade and flag football from kindergarten through sixth grade.
Tommy and Jayme Morris have provided youth recreational sports to the community of Paola.
The mission was simple, and impactful, with Miola “Where Every Kid Plays.”
There was a substitution sheet for basketball, which ensured every athlete played as close to the same amount of time as possible.
During the time Tommy led Miola 4 Sports, he also served as president of Paola Babe Ruth Baseball. He was on the Board of Paola Little League Baseball, and coached multiple All-Star teams.
Tommy began volunteering in 1983, serving as coached the Firebirds in the Babe Ruth League.
“The time commitment it takes to organize the seasons, recruit volunteer coaches, recruit referees, secure facility usage, prep fields, organize, purchase and prepare equipment for each season is momentous,” Golubski said. “I challenge anyone to find a community with someone who has put more time and effort into providing the youth of his or her community with the opportunity to play youth recreational sports.
“Because of Tommy’s efforts, many kids have developed a passion for sports that turned into a desire to play high school and college sports,” he said. “These recreational sports served as a feeder program for middle school sports. On behalf of Paola Youth Sports, I would like to thank Tommy and Jayme Morris for more than 25 years of service to the youth in the community.”