A year ago, the City of Ripon entered into an agreement with the Ripon Unified School District on use of facilities on places for meetings and sports.
At that time, Ripon High needed the extra space around town to accommodate the various sports programs – an influx of prep sports took place following a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recreation Director Kye Stevens provided the one-year anniversary update on that Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties at the March 8 Ripon City Council meeting.
“Everything has gone smoothly,” he said, recommending no changes at all.
RHS cross country and soccer programs are using Mavis Stouffer Park to conduct their practice sessions. Likewise for the Indians JV softball team in using the fields at the Ripon Community Center.
As for the local recreation programs, Stevens pointed out that everything is back and in full force.
He used pre-COVID 2019 figures to provide a comparison to the latest the numbers. All programs were canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The recently-completed youth soccer program had a turnout of 835 players, which is up substantially from 2019 (774 signups). “That’s our biggest participation sport,” Stevens said.
The basketball league is currently underway with 190 participants, up 1 percent from two years ago (188).
Flag football saw a 13.8 percent increase, going from 193 in 2019 to this year’s 224 participants.
Stevens noted that baseball registration was just completed with a few more expected to join. That’s up by 9.6 percent – registration numbers were at 533, ahead of the 487 in 2019.
“We’ll have our full slate of programs going forward,” he said.
Elected leaders were pleased with the positive numbers.
Councilman Daniel de Graaf believes that some of the increases are due to other cities not offering recreation programs.
Vice Mayor Mike Restuccia added that the positive feedback was “the best news we’ve received in a long time.”