Richard Mozeleski is the new Town Hall sports coordinator. He began last week after passing the final background checks.
Mozeleski and his wife moved to Fern Valley several years ago from Murietta where he had a landscaping business. Before becoming full-time neighbors, they were commuting from Murrieta part-time for five years before.
The traditional menu of kids sports — softball, basketball and volleyball — will continue, but he wants to add a year-round running club for the kids and teens who want to exercise without competing in team sports. One of his friends is a retired cross-country running coach and he also hopes to recruit some of the local long-distance runners to help, also.
Also, Mozeleski, a former coach, plans to emphasize skill clinics for the young athletes. He has organized and presented several basketball skill days as a former coach and will continue this practice at Town Hall programs.
Besides programs focused on Idyllwild School students, Mozeleski wants to expand Town Hall’s offering to local high school students, too. His goal will be to create an inclusive program for kids and teens of all grades. He also would like to have smaller squads so kids can play more.
“High-school basketball became my salvation,” he said. “It kept me out of trouble and in school.” Consequently, he plans to start the expanded program with basketball. Nothing is offered now after sixth grade, unless they play off the Hill.
His philosophy will be to incorporate adults as mentors into the activities for high school students. They can play together, but the adults can teach more than game skills. “They need to think mentor first and coaching second,” Mozeleski stressed. “I’ve seen a lot in the last two decades, starting with the travel squads [which he coached].”
He does not plan to limit the application of this philosophy to basketball. “I’ll try it also through other sports,” he added.
Middle-school basketball sign-ups are now open. And adult volleyball season has already started. After basketball season, he would like to schedule a kids’ volleyball season to be followed by spring baseball and softball.
“Kids finding one thing to keep them involved for the next four to five years after middle school, whether it’s theater, dance, math or sports — I just want to facilitate the chance some will find time in the games. I believe in it,” he emphasized.
J.P. Crumrine can be reached at [email protected]