New youth sports organization opens in Kingston

KINGSTON — After more than a year of planning, a new youth sports organization is up and running.

The Kingston Youth Sports Association has its first fundraiser Dec. 13. The KYSA currently has a wrestling program and cheerleading program, and is raising money for a football program for 2013.

One of the goals: To give children in Kingston, Hansville, Little Boston, Suquamish and Port Gamble more opportunities to develop their skills in football, wrestling and cheer so they are better prepared and more competitive when they reach high school.

“It is our goal and mission to create a youth athletic program for the greater Kingston demographic,” KYSA Matt Berger wrote in a fundraising letter. “Currently all youth sports are run through the North Kitsap programs in Poulsbo. While this was adequate in years past, the opening of Kingston High School and population growth of the North [Kitsap] communities has [led] to the need of creating a separate league in order to better serve the youth and families of the [North End].”

Berger told the Herald, “It’s been going incredibly well. Last year, we got our non-profit status. We went through the application process [for 501c3] and began building our board of directors. Now, we’ve got our board on and we’re in fundraising mode.”

Bobby Reece, coach of the Kingston High School wrestling team, brought his Big Dawgs wrestling program under the KYSA umbrella. The Big Dawgs have their first KYSA meet this week at Outlaw Wrestling. Registration is open for KYSA Big Dawg Wrestling. For information about KYSA Cheer, email

The board of directors: Berger, president; Mike Lash, football athletic director; Joe Haselberger, wrestling athletic director; Daneen Sturgeon, cheerleading athletic director; Ed Baze, fundraising chairman; and Lisa Ledbetter, treasurer.

KYSA received a grant from the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. A benefit poker tournament is scheduled Dec. 13, 6 p.m., at The Point Casino. Buy-in is $50. Email A brunch auction is being planned for Jan. 25.

“We will enter the 2013 season with programs in football, wrestling and cheer. It will be our goal to add basketball under the KYSA umbrella by the start of the 2014 season,” Berger wrote in the fundraising letter. “While the wrestling program is already in place and ready, it will take approximately $15,000 to get the football program off the ground.This investment will outfit the 100+ kids currently participating and allow us to purchase the equipment and field rentals needed.”

Checks can be made payable to KYSA and sent to P.O. Box 1784, Kingston, WA 98346. Donations are tax deductible.

According to KYSA’s mission statement, “The goal of the KYSA program is to develop and promote the ideals of responsibility, hard work, sportsmanship, teamwork, community and fellowship within a safe and positive environment. The individual growth of our community’s children is enhanced through the spirit of competition, discipline and fair play. These goals will be accomplished by providing a structured program designed to educate both participants and parents in all aspects of athletics. The KYSA program is committed to providing a program that maintains the highest standards and guarantees a fun, positive experience for everyone involved. KYSA will work hard to build a premier athletic program to be enjoyed by our youth, community and for future generations.”


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