The new president of the Havelock Girls Babe Ruth Softball League has a goal.
"I want to see a league where each division has at least four teams in it," said Kelly Titus.
Titus and her husband Ryan had been coaching their oldest daughter’s 10-and-under team when she found out that the league was in trouble. The city had stepped in to run the league for the season because it didn’t have an active board.
"We both coached. It’s something that we both shared an interest in and I think both my husband and I are very athletic and know a lot about the sport to be able to teach others in the league," Titus said.
Dave Smith, director of the Havelock Parks and Recreation Department, said Titus stepped up to run the league.
"It’s been sort of a joint venture this year with us helping with the purchase of things for them and then Kelly taking the lead on a lot of the admin work," Smith said.
Without Titus taking the lead, the league was in jeopardy of possibly shutting down or moving to Newport, something Smith didn’t want to see happen.
"To be able to have that in your hometown makes a big difference in parental involvement," Titus said.
"I think Kelly, like any brand new president, will have some growing pains and that’s typical of any organization, but I think she’s got energy and ideas, and more than anything, she’s got the desire to take girls softball and make it grow," Smith said. "That’s more important than any knowledge really."
Titus understands how tough it can be for parents sometimes.
"Sometimes both parents work," she said. "Especially being in a military community, you may have a parent who’s deployed and they have five kids, so it is hard for them to get involved, and I understand that."
Titus has managed to establish a board that has met at the Titus home.
Titus knows it is important for girls to have access to athletics.
"I think it’s crucial that young girls all the way up are involved because of the peer pressures from outside of what they should be doing," she said. "Just keeping them out of trouble is one of the big things and making sure they’re involved and that the parents are involved and that they have that family together time. They get rewarded when they practice hard and they set goals. It not only teaches them that now but teaches them as an adult."
Titus, a Havelock native, played softball for Havelock High School and in the city recreation league.
"It’s my favorite thing," Titus said. "It’s very important because not only are these girls going to play rec ball but the goal is that they play for high school and ultimately go to college."
Smith said Titus may be the key to turning the league around.
"I think there’s a lot of potential for the league to grow," he said. "She’s going to need some help like with any league. The leagues that thrive are the ones that have that good solid base of ones who help out."
"I’m hopeful," she said.
For more information on the league, go to the league Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HavelockGirlsSoftball.