Paso Robles is a wine lover’s mecca, a travel-guide beacon for scenic vineyards, cool wineries and the California Mid-State Fair.
But for Evan Morones, it’s much more than that.
Paso Robles is home – and has been for his entire life. The city of 30,000 residents is where he grew up and went to school. It’s where he’s made a life with his wife, Maggie, and their three children. It’s the city he returns to each day after his work as a process supervisor at Aera’s San Ardo field, 30 miles to the north.
And even then, his day isn’t over.
Morones is president of Paso Robles Youth Football and Cheer (PRYFC). The after-school program serves 250 children ages 7 to 14. Since Paso Robles doesn’t have school-directed football and cheer programs for that age group, PRYFC plays an important role. Its mission: “Developing our community’s young athletes by teaching good sportsmanship, honesty, discipline and respect in a safe and fun environment.”
Taking the helm
Morones himself participated in PRYFC football as a youngster. In time, he coached his own sons in PRYFC football and supported his daughter in its cheer squad. He also volunteered as the organization’s equipment manager. After his children moved on to Paso Robles High School, Morones considered scaling back on his PRYFC time.
“But the program’s funding dried up,” he said. “We couldn’t see it fall apart. So, I decided to run for board president.”
Now in his first year as PRYFC head, Morones works with a 12-member board. Most of the directors are parents of the young participants. The board oversees the needs of seven football teams and their 40 coaches, as well as seven cheerleading squads and their 14 coaches. Morones spearheads the group’s many activities, ranging from scheduling and uniforms, to summer “Bearcat Camp,” practices and Saturday game days at Paso Robles High School. As president, Morones is busy six days a week from July to November.
“Evan brings extensive experience to the table,” said Dan Rivas, a fellow PRYFC board member. “He takes an unbiased approach, has an open mind and is forward-thinking.”
In his PRYFC volunteer work, Morones often relies on what he’s learned from his employer of 11 years.
“A lot of things I do as a PRYFC board member are what we’re taught at Aera, like being accountable to others and respecting others’ ideas,” Morones said.
Without the efforts of Morones and support from oil-related organizations, youth programs like PRYFC would suffer. For example, Kings Oil Tool, a Paso Robles-based well-serving company, is one the program’s financial sponsors.
“We are extremely thankful to all those who support us financially,” Morones said. “Their support allowed our league to recondition over 200 helmets and purchase 20 new sets of shoulder pads for the kids this year. Fundraising and sponsorships make all the difference to our program.”