Jeff Meyerholz spends a lot of time chasing soccer balls, volleyballs and footballs — at work.
He came on board as the new John Day-Canyon City Parks and Recreation program manager on Sept. 1, working alongside director Art Thunell, office manager Kimberly Ward and other staff.
Meyerholz organizes and assists with the sporting programs — helping coach and officiate, when needed — and he’s aiming to increase the agency’s visibility and create new programs.
“I’m working on building a better online presence through Facebook and building a new website,” he said, adding they plan to streamline the process to include online payments for registration.
He’s also planning programs for adults, including volleyball, basketball and pickle ball.
“Part of our mission is providing recreational opportunities to the community, and the board has asked us to grow not only youth programs, but adult programs, too,” he said. “We want to build better communication with the community and gather feedback on building future programs.”
Meyerholz worked for the local Parks and Rec several years prior to starting the new position, doing maintenance and landscaping.
He’s a retired Forest Service rappel manager, and still owns MeyWow Photography.
Currently, 136 children are involved in Parks and Rec sporting programs. There are 55 kids enrolled in soccer, which has two teams of 5- to 6-year-olds and two teams of 7- to 11-year-olds.
Volleyball has 41 kids with teams for grades 3-4 and grade 5-6.
The football teams are usually on the road to compete, but hosted a jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 24, in John Day with out-of-town teams invited. There are 40 players participating in football teams for grades 3-4 and grades 5-6.
Registration is currently open for youth basketball teams for grades 4-6 with boys and girls leagues running Oct. 17 through Dec. 15.
The popular Daddy/Daughter Dance is on the schedule for February 2017, and a mother/son activity is in the planning stages.
“We’ll also potentially add other nonsporting, educational programs,” he said.
Ideas surfacing include photography, day hikes and youth tumbling. Running events, bike races and softball tournaments for adults are also among the possibilities, which they hope will draw visitors to the area.
“You can see, I have my work cut out for me,” Meyerholz said. “I took the job because I knew it was going to be a challenge and look forward to it.”
For more information, call the Parks and Rec office at 541-575-0110 or visit jdccparksandrec.weebly.com. The office is located on the west side of the Seventh Street Complex at 845 1/2 NW Bridge St. in John Day.
Registration forms for John Day-Canyon City Parks and Recreation youth basketball are available at Humbolt Elementary School in Canyon City and the Parks and Rec office in John Day.
The program is for boys and girls in grades 4-6.
The deadline for registration is Oct. 14.
Boys start practice at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at Humbolt Elementary..
Girls, also playing at Humbolt, start practice at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18.
The fee for registering early is $35 for players who live within the John Day/Canyon City taxing district, and $45 for those who are out of district.
After Oct. 14, an additional fee of $5 will be charged.
Forms, with the money enclosed, can be returned to the school; Parks and Rec office; or mailed to JDCC Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 762, John Day, OR 97845.
For more information, call 541-575-0110.