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Residents Lobby Bryan Council for Park Policy Change

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

Bryan's west side is banding together to get a new baseball field named after one of its own.

A 15-year-old rule may stop the effort unless city council decides otherwise.

Ask anyone from Bryan's west side and they'll have a story about Little League Coach Leo Chavarria.

"I was 8 and remember going to the dug outs watching him play, and I said one day I'm gonna play for him. So as kids we all lined up waiting, saying next season we're gonna play for him and through the years he just brought the best out of kids in the neighborhood," says Little League Coach Ross Rodriguez.

Although the west side's favorite coach is 69, they want to name one of the new baseball fields at Henderson Park after the local legend.

Bryan's park naming policy won't allow it.

A person must be a generous donor or deceased to be the namesake of a park, public building or baseball field.

"Bryan has a lot of parks and there has to be some type of criteria for naming them and that's what the policy is," says Bryan Parks and Recreation Manager David Schmitz.

Some say the current policy takes many great little league coaches out of the loop, simply because they haven't donated any money or haven't passed away.

"Some of the people that live on the west side of town are not going to be able to fit that criteria so they give of their time," says Bryan Resident Tommy Munoz.

Munoz is heading up the effort to get the policy changed.

Letters of support have been written by Representative Fred Brown and other area leaders.

Munoz says it's all evidence of how much Chavarria impacted the community during his 25 years of service to little league baseball.

"Mr. Chavarria has been very instrumental in effecting a lot of lives in our community including mine," says Munoz.

The Parks and Rec board has been reviewing the guidelines since last fall, and agree Chavarria is deserving, but a recommendation to city council will not be ready until the summer.

Munoz and others are hoping to unveil the Leo Chavarria baseball field by opening day in April.

City council will hear a presentation from Munoz at Tuesday's meeting at six o'clock.


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