LA MARQUE – Kickball is becoming a big hit as a recreational sport for Galveston County residents in both established and brand new leagues.
The Ball High alumni team is continuing its run of domination against Houston-area teams in a league it helped found more than four years ago.
Ball High team member Rodney Artmore, class of 1993, went on to play safety for Baylor and for a couple of seasons with the Green Bay Packers after graduation, but on the Tors kickball squad, he’s just a rookie.
In his first year playing, Artmore said he was happy to find a new outlet for competition that allows for weekly reunions with his Ball High family.
“I had been looking for something like this,” Artmore said. “It’s fun to come out here on Sundays with your family, and have a good time with your other family. It’s been a blast for me. One weekend, I had my birthday and spent Father’s Day here playing.”
Michael Courville, class of 1996, joined the Ball High alumni team two years ago, and the former high school football and track athlete was surprised to find the kickball league to be just as competitive as those other sports.
One thing all the competitors pointed to as their favorite aspect of playing in the league is the family atmosphere of the games.
Each team sets up its own small camp/cheering section, where cold drinks, freshly grilled food and good company are enjoyed.
Schools represented by their alumni in the league include Ball High, La Marque, Bellaire, Eisenhower, Jones, Lamar, Madison, Milby, Northside, Sterling, Washington, Westbury, Willowridge, Worthing and Yates.
The teams began play this season June 8, and plays every Sunday until the season ends Aug. 17. The teams play at Law Park II, which contains three fields and is located at 6200 Scarlett Drive in Houston.
up in county
The attraction of kickball has bounced its way to Galveston County with a new league started earlier this summer in La Marque. However, rather than it being a weekly high school reunion and display of school pride, this league is all about celebrating sisterhood.
The all-women Exquisite Pearls kickball league began as the brainchild of Rozlyn Williams-Gitrey and Treka Young-Mitchell, two Galveston County deputy constables looking for a way to be more active.
After thinking of the idea of forming a kickball league, Young-Mitchell said it became an instant success, with more than 100 women, mostly in their 30s and 40s, clamoring to join the league.
“We’ve gotten a wonderful turnout from the community,” Young-Mitchell said. “Now, the teams have fans and Facebook pages. It’s awesome.”
The league began with the selection of team captains, who were responsible for filling their rosters, and each team getting its own identity and uniforms. From then on, it just continued to grow and grow.
“It’s a great environment, and then when I look up and notice the stands are filling up and then people bring out their tents and our concession stand was thriving,” Young-Mitchell said. “I was just amazed at the support.”
The Exquisite Pearls formed six teams and began a five-game season of weekly games for its inaugural year three weeks ago. The league holds its games Sunday afternoons at the La Marque High School softball fields.
“We want this thing to go above and beyond,” Young-Mitchell said of the league’s potential. “The fever has struck.”