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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 3, 2010     Hays Free Press
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February 3, 2010
 

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Hays Free Press * February 3, 2010 NEWS Page 3A Kickin' it u in K le .. . . P Y Competmon culminates m Gregg-Clarke Park Sunday BY JEN BIUNDO jen@haysfreepress.com This weekend, the city of Kyle will see one of the fiercest sports tournaments in its history, as 19 teams fight their way to the grand championship at Gregg- Clarke Park. Wtil Kegs & Legs kick their way past Got Balls? Will the Bad News Babes sock it to Team Dirty? Can Prayball convert the Alcoballics? These questions and more will be answered .on Feb. 7, as the 2010 winter season wraps up for the Kyle Adult IOckball League. That's right - kickball. That stalwart game of rainy-day re- cess is building up a following among Kyle-area residents of the grown-up persuasion. The rules are simple and haven't changed much since third game gyn class - you run the bases as you would in a game of softball, but instead of a ball and bat, you kick a boun- cy rubber ball. And unlike gym class, you're allowed to keep a cooler on the sidelines. Kickball landed in Kyle in 2008 when newcomer Car- rie Montoya, who had played the sport in Austin, ap- proached the city about start- ing a league. Parks Director Kerry Orbanowicz thought it sounded like a fun, low-key game that a few dozen resi- dents might sign up for. But he couldn't predict how pop- ular it would'become. "We're not the only town that does this, but for some reason it's really taken off in Kyle," Urbanowicz said. "We had to build an extra field for this." Seven teams signed up for the first season in 2008, and the tumout has nearly tripled in the last two years. This sea- son nine women's teams and 10 co-ed teams, each with 12 -14 players, hit the fields in PHOTO BY SEAN CLAES The Alcoballics score a home run in a Kyle Adult Kickball League game. The season wraps up this weekend with an elimination tournament. Hundreds of local residents have signed up to play the classic gym class game. Kyie. Player Sean Claes is a mem- ber of the demurely-named Prayball, a team composed of members of the Kyle Method- ist Church. Incoming church pastor Barbara Aziz and her husband Karim mentioned, mostly jokingly, that they should start a team. "We went from laughing about it to deciding, you know what, it's a good idea for the church to get out into the com- munity and do something that is enjoyable, get some exercise, and have some fun," Claes said. "There's something really funny and really great about playing a kid's game." Unlike softball or soccer, kickball is a game that's forgiv- ing to the less athletically gift- ed, Claes said. And while the teams play to win, the social camaraderie and entertain- ment are the top draw. "There are no Olympic scouts out there, so we can just have fun," Claes said. PLAY BALL The 2010 spring season of the Kyle Adult Kickball League runs from March 3 - May 16. Team registration deadline is Feb. 17. Individual players can sign up from Feb. 17 through the third week of game play. The $40 registration cost includes a game shirt. For more info, visit www.cityofkyle. corn/KylePARD.php or call the Parks Department at (512) 262-3939. INSURANCI Halifax Ranch: Johnson family donates 2,193 acres Continued from pg. 1A In the same announce- ment, the conservancy said Peter and Mary Faye Way donated a conservation easement on their 340 acres upriver from the Halifax Ranch. "Anyone who has laid eyes on the Blanco River Valley can appreciate its beauty and thanks to the actions of these two families, that beauty will last into the future," said Laura Huffman, the conser- vancy's state director. The Johnson and Way con- servation easements are the first held by the conservancy along the Blanco in Hays County, said Rachael Ranft, the conservancy's Northern Hill Country River Projects director. "The biggest threat to the Blanco River is development. The more of these easements we get, the better off we are in terms of water quality and quantity and species habi- tat," Ranft said. Both proper- ties are prime habitat for the federally listed endangered golden-cheeked warbler. Ranft declined to say what the easements are worth be- cause final appraisals on the property are not available. Conservation easements in Hays County often sell for about 40 percent of the land's appraised vahie. At $10,000 an acre, certainly a low num- ber, the easements are worth at least $10 million. The conservancy's Blan- co River Project seeks to preserve large tracts along the river's 87-mile course through three counties. The vast majority of land along the river is held privately. "People like the lohnsons and the Ways prove that the actions of a few can deeply benefit the lives of many. They're not only ensuring their family lands will stay intact, but protecting natu- ral resources for the Tex- ans of tomorrow," Huffman said. The ]ohnsons began ex- ploring donation of a con- servation easement in 2003 when their parents died, said Bill Johnson, who lives on the property. "All of us had a very strong desire to see the ranch pre- served in its entirety. We wanted t0 look at various ways we could pursue keep- ing it intact and avoid break- ing it up," Johnson said. Way is already a folk hero among the county's con- servationists. In 2003, he bought and held 500 acres that included Wimberley's Blue Hole on Cypress Creek until the village could raise funds to make the property a public park. About his Blanco River donation, he said, "Our ob- jective was to encourage easements to preserve our limited water resources. My family has always been aware of the need to put conserva- tion easements on critical watershed properties, and the time was right for us to act." Hays County is preparing to seal the deal on another large-scale conservation easement. Under a deal cur- rently being finalized, the county, along with the city of Austin and the Hill Coun- try Conservancy, will pay $9.9 million to purchase the development rights of the Dahlstrom Ranch, a 2,275- acre tract of environmentally sensitive ranchland west of Buda. r Your numbe news source ir Kyle and surrc communil one Buda, unding ies ......  ROBERT AVERA ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR 5500 FM 2770 Kyle, Texas 78640 AvEI00A Law Firm, P Robert@AveraI office (512) 6 fax (512) 6 LLd aw.com 15-3578 15-3583 ,u.o.,omo an, life insurance... Rob White, Agent (512) 504-9484 Auto. Hol Let's Comp; Rates and S( miliiiiiii :.::,::=,:+ !iililiiiiiiiiili!i iiiiii!iiiiii?iiii m he. Life Lre 1"vice. 5500 FM 2770, Ste. 101 Kyle, TX 78640 rwhite@txfb ins.com NReid 's urser00' Free Beekee talk on Satu Feb. 20 at 1 Bob and Denis, of the San Man Bee Wranglers about beekeep have displays,, and much mor NATIVE & ADAPTED PLANTS " ORGANIC SOILS t FERTILIZERS ping rday, 30 p.m. ; Benson ;os Area vill talk ng, and will landouts PLANT t WILDLIFE GUIDES GARDEN ART t MORE! Call 1512) 398-6011 5550 FM 2720 Open 9arn-5prn Kyle/Uhland Area Tuesday-Sunday www, reidsnursery, com Closed Mondays 10 minutes east of IH-35. Take 150 East to Hwy 21. Turn left rn right Meat Market. We're about on the left. at FM 2720, just past the Bon Ton 1 1/2 miles ddtwn 1 Pefia Memorial: Son of Kyle Elementary teacher mourned Continued from pg: 1A Pefia very well as he addressed the crowd. He recalled playing pranks on him and vice versa. "Paul was a joker," he said. "We never stopped joking around." One day, Combs said that he had the pleasure of meeting Pefia's family. "It was funny to see him with his mom," he said. "You saw him turn into a little boy again." Combs said that Pefia got uncomfortable when his mother pulled out old photo albums of him. "He would be embarrassed, but I'd keep asking for more," he said as the crowd laughed. "It drove him crazy." Combs deployed with Pefia to Iraq for 13 months and spoke of his confidence while under enemy fire. "We went through a lot to- gether," he said. "No matter how bad it got, he'd always look at you and smile." When he helped escort Pe- fia's body from San Antonio to San Marcos, Combs recalled how impressed he was to see the number of supporters along the drive on Jan. 26. "It never stopped," he said of the supporters. "That was incredible. I had never seen anything like that." "It meant so much to his family," to see how people lined the streets, held flags on overpasses and got out of ve- hicles with their hand on their heart when the motorcade passed by. The enormous support seemed to fit the type of leader that Pefia was known to be. Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, XVIII Air- borne Corps commander, re- minded mourners of his dedi- cation. "People have asked whether Paul had to be out there that day," he said. "The answer that Paul's battalion commander gave was this, 'Paul knew ex- actly where he needed to be - out in front with his paratroop- ers, leading them through the same dangers that they face."' "That's what Paul was- an ex- traordinaryleader," he added. Pefia's funeral was Friday at St. John's the Evangelist Church in San Antonio. Father Stuart Juleen officiated the mass. In- terment followed at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. WWW.OCS Creek and Day _ _ ........... lb mlllllll