Eastern Sports Management wrapping up first football season in Lawton

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - “We had faith in the community of Lawton to come together and make the season happen. It takes a whole village, so we really felt like the community was very engaged and wanting to participate in sports here. So, we felt really good about it coming in and I think we feel great right now,” said Matt Elliott, General Manager of Play Lawton.

All successful youth sports programs start with parent support, and after finishing up their first season ESM is feeling good about how it serves kids.

“I felt like it was a good thing. It’s good that the kids were able to have a season, that they were able to play. It gives them something to look forward to. We like to get out and watch the kids play,” said Lenora Miranda, a local parent.

ESM Vice President Andy Ballard knew his team had a rocky start, with coming in a month and a half before football was slated to begin, and he welcomed the challenge.

“This time, you know with the short term that we had to get going, and just trying to get all the different stakeholders and the transition into some of the staff with the city, it was a good, worthy challenge, then we executed,” said Ballard.

Ballard said it takes more than just his team, but the rest of the village.

“That is something to be proud of and it took everybody and took the parks and rec helping, it took the coaches helping, the booster clubs helping and so it was a really cool thing to see,” said Ballard.

The last parent I spoke with was thankful for ESM because she was worried her son would be unable to play football until a few years later.

“I’m excited because I didn’t think my son was gonna be able to play until he got to middle school, and now he’s got the experience to play and learn before he gets thrown into there with the big boys in school,” said Shawna Barnes, a local parent.