The Mission of the Catholic Youth Apostolate is to help all young people hear the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and to help all young people actively respond to the Gospel message and enthusiastically participate in the mission of Jesus Christ and His Church.
2016 Awards Banquet

FREE Coach It Right Soccer Clinics

All CYC Soccer Coaches are invited to participate in the FREE Coach It Right Soccer Clinics offered by the St. Louis Sports Commission.  Many CYC coaches have attended these clinics in past years and their feedback has been very positive.  It is FREE, but they do ask that you register.  CLICK HERE to register.

CYC at Cardinals

Over 1,000 cheering CYC players and families could not help the Cardinals beat the Pirates on CYC Night, Wednesday, July 6.  Most of those players and coaches paraded around the field at Busch Stadium before the game.  Plus some special CYC guests were part of other pre-game activities.  Based on the number of tickets each parish purchased, 2 parishes sent folks to watch batting practice and the top 2 parishes sent players to throw out the first pitch.

L-R: Marshall Prost-Little Flower, Noah Jensen-St. Peter, Gage Wombacher-SESR and Madison Collins-St. Clement.

Marshall and Noah came for batting practice, but due to rain there was no batting practice.  However they did get to see Greg Garcia, Alydmes Diaz, Colton Wong and Matt Adams take infield practice.  Plus each of them received a ball as the players went back into the dugout.  Then Gage and Madison were the first of the youth leagues to throw out 1st pitches.  All were congratulated by Fredbird after their toss.  The only thing that could have made the night more fun would have been a Cardinal victory.

The Olympic Story we Don't see on TV


With the 2016 Olympics only a month away, we have been hearing, reading and seeing stories of Olympic athletes as they prepare to compete.  Here is an inspiring blog from an Olympic hopeful who will not be going to Rio.

(This blog was posted recently by Cassidy Lichtman, an NCAA All-American at Stanford and a member of the USA National Women’s Volleyball team. She wrote it after pouring her heart and soul into making the 2016 Olympic team…and falling agonizingly short. It captures her huge disappointment in not being selected, and a tremendous amount of wisdom for any athlete dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of playing sports, and life (when she was 9 doctors told her she would never walk again.) We here at the Changing the Game Project are proud that we have inspirational athletes like Cassidy representing our country, and honored that she let us share her blog here with you. Enjoy)

I’m not going to the Olympics.

This is the reality of our sport and the story you don’t see on TV—we have 25 players on our Women’s National Team and we can only send 12. We’ve all trained, all made sacrifices, all worked for years together knowing the whole time that there’s a chance we won’t see our names on that final roster. But knowing what we’re getting into doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I think it probably always will.

In the week or so after I learned I wouldn’t be in Rio I was sad and I cried but more than anything else I felt lost. Adrift. Like I had been on a four-year long voyage and we were finally nearing our destination when someone told me—actually, you don’t need to go the rest of the way. After four years of focusing solely on navigating this path, it was just over. I had put my heart into this and I just didn’t know how to take it back out.

But at some point, as the days have gone by, I realized that I’m still me. Being an Olympian would’ve changed my life but it never had the power to change me. Who I am has already been defined, not by the rosters I’ve made or the medals hanging in my room, but by the way I tried to approach every day—ready to work, to learn, and to serve my team in any way I could.

I gave everything—everything—I had, in the pursuit of this dream. And I say that not with bitterness but with conviction and with pride. I don’t regret one moment of it and I will not hang my head. Because dreaming big dreams, going all in and then falling just short doesn’t make you a failure. The failure lies in holding back and staying small.

So half of my teammates and I will watch from afar as our Olympic team goes after a medal in Rio. And I absolutely hope that they get it. This is my family. They represent everything that we’ve built and struggled for over the last four years. I love them, I wish them all the success and I will forever be grateful to be a part of Team USA.

And as for me—this isn’t where my story ends. This was just one chapter. One surreal, challenging, fantastic chapter. Now it’s time to write the next one.

Guidance from Coaches is Golden

          Luke Mann                           Scott Brown                          Erik Miller                      Dave Stewart

Article in the St. Louis Review by Joe Kenney, June 9, 2016

High school baseball coaches do a lot more than fill out a starting lineup and deal with strategy, especially when it comes to having talented players.

Playing for a coach who had success as a pitcher means a lot to St. John Vianney's Luke Mann.

Mann had an outstanding year in 2016. Among his statistical highlights was posting a school- record 0.43 earned run average.  "He gives me the tools of the trade to be successful," Mann said of Vianney's coach, Scott Brown, who pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Among the highlights of his sophomore season that just concluded, Mann tossed Vianney's second no-hitter of the season when his team defeated De Smet Jesuit High School and pitcher Erik Miller by a score of 1-0 on April 12. In the Class 5, District 4 semifinal game, Mann struck out nine as Vianney won 5-0 against Kirkwood. The team was stopped in the district finals against St. Louis University High School.

When he struggles, Mann said, Brown gives him the help he needs. He's a "family-type" coach, the player said, and easily approachable. They sometimes talk in the coach's office about baseball, school and college choices.

Brown's advice is golden, and Mann takes it in. What he and his teammates have learned most, Mann said, is how to sacrifice to help the overall team goal, how to establish a brotherhood on and off the field. He knows that if he messes up, "they have my back."

Miller, a lefthanded-pitching senior for De Smet, likewise has been guided by a coach who imparts his wisdom. Dave Stewart was a first baseman who was drafted in the 31st round by the Washington Nationals after high school but chose to play in college. He then was a 22nd-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2009 amateur draft. His career was cut short by an injury.

"He's been through the same situations I've been through now, with all the scouts coming to the games ... all the pressure," Miller said earlier this year. "He's been able to talk to me about how to handle it and the process of doing what I want to do and not focusing on what other people say."

Miller, an outstanding student as well, stays grounded by focusing on where he's come from and on the hard work he still has ahead of him. There's times when he struggles, feels a bit overwhelmed with so much to do and is looking for answers to various questions. That's when he looks to God to help push him through. "I lean on that in times of pressure, a lot of people looking toward me and me wanting to set a good example," he said. "There's no better example for me than God and Jesus."

Baseball is fun though, Miller said. "It has to be fun to be good at it. ... I fell in love with the game ever since I started playing it."

The game combines a mental aspect with the physical, which he especially enjoys.

Stewart said he tries to help players have fun by letting them have much of the control of the game. "They're playing a game. When I was playing professional baseball they talked about the same thing. If you don't have the mindset that this is a game, you're not going to relax, you're not going to play well."

He said no matter if it's a star player or not, high school athletes all have some adversity and pressure. He approaches them the same, helping them with their goals and their faith, staying positive and focused, relaxing and loving life. "It doesn't matter physically who you are, you have to take care of yourself as a human being first," Stewart said.

He appreciates being a coach at De Smet because coaches get to talk about the faith life and help them see that as a positive force. "Day one of this job I told myself this cannot be just about baseball. We do team Masses, 'power hours', we pray every day as a team before and after practice. We even invite teams after the game to pray with us around the mound. If that's not part of this job, then I'm not doing my job right."

Catholic schools in St. Louis are lucky to have many good baseball programs with other outstanding players — Bishop DuBourg, St. Louis University High School, St. Pius X, CBC and Valle Catholic just to name a few. I admire all that their dedicated coaches do to help develop student-athletes.

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