Springdale Parks and Recreation Community Spotlight
Raul Casillas and Joel Hernandez
Volunteering or working in the Springdale Parks and Recreation youth and adult sports programs is special enough when an individual devotes themselves as a coach, an umpire or a site supervisor. But what about when someone decides to take on all those tasks at once?
That's exactly what Raul Casillas and Joel Hernandez do for Springdale Parks and Recreation, and for the community.
Casillas has spent the last three decades coaching basketball, baseball, football and softball, and umpiring softball, basketball and baseball. He's also added site supervising throughout the Springdale Parks and Recreation system.
Hernandez has worked and volunteered at Springdale Parks and Recreation for the past four years, coaching soccer and basketball and officiating soccer, basketball and football. And he, like Casillas, also works as a site supervisor.
Both Casillas and Hernandez currently coach together in the Parks and Recreation youth summer basketball league. And they recently shared with us their passion for community involvement and helping develop youth sports in many ways.
Q: How did you first get into both coaching and officiating?
A: I got into coaching before officiating. This will be my 32nd year. I was playing myself back in southern California and I started officiating after I started coaching. Honestly, it's just a passion of mine. Sports kept me out of trouble where I'm from. It kept me off the streets.
Q: How does being a coach help you as an official? And how does being an official help you as a coach?
A: Honestly, the coaching has helped me out with officiating a whole lot more. I've dealt with a lot of young coaches and it's helped to be able to see it from the officiating side. As a coach, it's taught me to appreciate the officials more.
Q: What's your advice to someone who would like to volunteer or work in Springdale Parks and Recreation as a coach, official or site supervisor?
A: Patience. Volunteer, coach, whatever you do, just make sure you're passionate about it. That's what I've done for the past 30 years is given back what I've learned. And that's why I coach is to give back what I teach and love.
Q: What's the biggest difference between being a coach and an official?
A: For me it's just making sure the kids develop. The officials are there to help, but it's the development. And I can say the majority of the parents in the Springdale leagues, there's no issues. They're there for the right reasons.
Q: How did you and Raul come together as coaches?
A: I picked one of the best coaches in the league and asked if I could be his assistant. And he said yes. I like Raul's coaching method. I had seen the way he had coached. I had seen his love for the sport and the way he worked with kids and the way he developed the players.
Q: What's your advice to new coaches or officials in Springdale Parks and Recreation youth or adult sports programs?
A: Just do it. They'll find a very supportive staff here at Parks and Rec. They'll provide you with everything you need. I've never had any issues and always had great support.