By Scott Prater
That honor came earlier this month when he announced registration for youth basketball at Schriever had opened.
The job holds many challenges. First of all, it’s his first as a sports director and second, he’s starting from, well, scratch.
Everyone knows that feeling of starting a new job. One has more questions than answers the first few weeks, and here at Schriever, no predecessor existed to fill in the blanks.
Mr. Kuykendall sprinted off the starting line, ordering sports equipment, developing organizational plans for upcoming sports, creating budgets and making important contacts, both on base and in town. Dates and deadlines raced through his head as he fought to gain headway.
Then, just as he felt like he’d got his arms wrapped around the job, fate reared its ugly head. While playing one of the final games of the Schriever intramural flag football season, Mr. Kuykendall went up for a pass and landed on an opponent’s foot, snapping his right ankle and damaging several ligaments.
He’s easy to spot now. He’s the guy with the knee-length boot and the crutches who hops around between the fitness center, the headquarters building and the youth sports office inside the Tierra Vista Community Center.
A native of York, Penn., Mr. Kuykendall enlisted in the U.S. Army straight out of high school. He eventually found his way to Fort Carson, where he was stationed for the last three years of his military commitment. Following his discharge, he found a job working at the U.S. Air Force Academy as a recreation assistant.
Today, he’s familiar to anyone who visits the Schriever Fitness Center regularly. He started working as recreation assistant in 2002, earned his certification and became one of Schriever’s personal trainers not long after. He’s also assisted sports director Ed Malloy in managing Schriever’s intramural program for the past couple of years.
“This is the first ever youth sports program at Schriever,” he said. “I’m excited to be starting something from the ground up. That said, there are some scary aspects to the job. One big thing is, we’ve got these programs set up. We’ve got uniforms and equipment, but my biggest fear is that no kids will show up. I’d be the youth sports director with no kids playing youth sports.”
Since the program is new and the base’s housing area just celebrated its first birthday, its difficult to ascertain how much participation the program might see. And Mr. Kuykendall has to create a budget for each sport.
Seth Cannello, Schriever Fitness Center Director insists that Schriever’s Youth Sports are in good hands.
“Korey is the perfect fit as the new youth sports director,” Mr. Cannello said. “He’s created sports schedules, maintained fields, supervised athletic contests and coached youth sports teams, as well as, developed contracts and evaluated officials.”
Youth Basketball registration is open through Dec. 10, for both players and volunteer coaches. The season begins the first week of January and the first games will be played Jan. 22. Following basketball, Schriever Youth Sports will offer spring soccer. Baseball and softball will start next summer.
Mr. Kuykendall also plans to offer day trips to local sporting events starting this winter through next summer, and different sports camps next summer.
Children of active-duty military, Department of Defense civilian, Non-appropriated Funds civilians and military retirees are eligible to participate in all Schriever Youth Sports.
For basketball, programs will be offered for youths as young as 3. Children ages 3-4 start out in the Little Dribblers fundamentals program. League basketball will be offered for all those ages 5 through 18 and Schriever will partner with youth programs at Peterson AFB, Fort Carson and the USAFA for league play.
All of the program’s coaches will be volunteers. All volunteer coaches require a background check and National Alliance for Youth Sports training from Mr. Kuykendall, which also includes CPR and First-Aid. The program goal is to have two volunteer coaches for each team. Anyone interested in coaching any sport should contact the Schriever Youth Sports Office at 567-2850 as soon as possible.
For more information on youth sports, ages, eligibility or other questions, parents are also urged to contact the youth sports office.