Families looking to keep their children active have a number of resources outside the athletic programs of Liberty Hill schools. From baseball, football and soccer to gymnastics and martial arts, there is an activity for every interest.
Liberty Hill Youth League
The Liberty Hill Youth League was established in 1953 and offers baseball and softball to boys and girls ages four through 14. The vision of the LHYL, as put forth by President Donn Thompson, is threefold: to provide the best tools in the area (i.e. fields, batting cages, etc.), coaches that care about their players, and a board of directors that embraces service.
“The Liberty Hill Youth League seeks to instill in the youth of the community ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage, and reverence,” said Thompson. “That way they may be finer, stronger, happier youths who shall grow to be good, clean, healthy adults.”
Thompson and the coaches in the LHYL seek to teach life applications to Liberty Hill young people. As Thompson put it, “it is important to have fun, and while we have fun, we need to grow and be comfortable out of our comfort zones. Sometimes we will achieve success, sometimes we will not. They are both okay, so long as attitude and effort are applied.”
The schedule and registration dates for 2017 have yet to be finalized, but spring games take place from March through May, all-star play will start in June, and fall ball will run from September through the end of October. To learn more about the LHYL, visit the league’s Facebook page and the website at www.lhyl.org.
Liberty Hill Youth Football & Cheer
Liberty Hill Youth Football & Cheer is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that offers tackle football and cheerleading programs for boys and girls from kindergarten through the sixth grade.
The main goal of the league, according to President Gerald Lorance, is to teach kids responsibility, discipline, and teamwork, and to give them a sense of purpose in a team environment.
“LHYFC provides local youth an opportunity to participate in a team sport that runs the same system as the junior high school,” said Lorance. “LHYFC will continue to compete against area teams that are in the same district of competition as the high school athletes.”
In 2016, the LHYFC fielded tackle football teams in five different age groups: K-2, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade. Lorance is expecting a turnout substantial enough to field a similar number of teams in 2017. Registration for the 2017 season opens on April 1 and will run through mid-June. Only kids who move to the Liberty Hill area late will be allowed to sign up after the cut-off point. The annual football and cheer camp will be held at the end of July and is open to any child who wants to participate in tackle football or cheerleading. Learn more about the LHYFC at www.lhyfc.com.
Zero Gravity Gymnastics and Cheer
Zero Gravity Gymnastics and Cheer, based in Leander, was founded in 2008 by former Olympic-level gymnast Cathy Zeolla. Zero Gravity offers recreational gymnastics, cheer, and tumbling, as well as competitive gymnastics, cheer, tumbling, and trampoline for boys and girls ages two to 17. Zero Gravity is also a licensed child care center and is used for after-school activities, birthday parties, and open gym. It also offers a seven belay rock climbing wall.
“Our goal is to encourage the development of basic motor skills, rhythm, coordination, flexibility, body strength, and self confidence in a positive, fun environment,” said Zeolla. “We take pride in knowing our experience of over 50 years and formal training is expressed through our love of the sport, as well as the passion to encourage young athletes in a positive atmosphere.”
Zero Gravity is located at 2041 S. Highway 183 in Leander, and features 25 “handpicked coaches and athletes that not only encourage skill-specific curriculum, but a sense of family,” according to Zeolla. Visit more information about classes and how to register, visit www.zerogravitygymnasticsandcheer.com.
Liberty Hill Youth Soccer Association
The Liberty Hill Youth Soccer Association is a non-profit organization that has been offering soccer programs for boys and girls since 1997. The LHYSA is a member of CAYSA (Capitol Area Youth Soccer Association) and South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) and has both recreational and competitive leagues for residents of Liberty Hill and nearby locales ages three through 18
“Soccer is a wonderful developmental sport,” said league President Richard Marshall. “The LHYSA exists to use soccer to build well-rounded athletes who will grow to become the continuing strength of the community. We are blessed with wonderful parents, wonderful players, wonderful coaches, and a wonderful board who works hard to make each season happen.”
The mission of LHYSA is the “physical, mental, and emotional growth and development of the youth of Liberty Hill and surrounding areas by offering an environment that makes soccer fun and instills a lifelong passion for the game in its players and their families.”
The registration date for 2017 has yet to be announced. According to Marshall, registration fees are some of the lowest in Central Texas, yet the league will work with low-income families that may have issues paying the fee.
“LHYSA wants all the players to play,” said Marshall. “We want you and your family to join us on the soccer fields as a part of the LHYSA community, cheering our players on.”
Games are held at City Park fields on CR 200, Williamson County Park, and other fields around the Greater Austin area. Visit the league website at www.libertyhillsoccer.org for more information about registration or volunteer opportunities.
Trusted Guard Martial Arts
Trusted Guard Martial Arts was founded by 5th Degree Black Belt Drew Barrett. Located at 719 N. Hwy 183 Ste. 138-B in Liberty Hill, Trusted Guard offers classes for all age ranges and demographics, including kids martial arts, hapkido, fitness kickboxing, adult taekwondo, and summer camps.
Trusted Guard currently employs four instructors — Drew Barrett, Gabriel Barrett, Christine Pavelka, and Heather Brenner — all of whom possess a black belt. Each class is open to individuals of any experience level and physical condition.
“People come to us of all fitness levels,” said Barrett. “We get natural-born athletes, and we get people who have a harder time with athletic endeavors. However, everyone gets the same focus and attention. If you’re not in great shape, don’t worry. Go at your own pace. We’ll do everything we can to help you learn each and every technique. Soon enough, your physical fitness will improve.”
Benefits of martial arts, as put forth by the Trusted Guard website, are boosted confidence, better focus, physical fitness, a sense of community, and lastly, fun. To learn more about Trusted Guard or register for a class, visit www.trustedguardmartialarts.com.