Welcome to year 42 of the Baton Rouge Ancient Athlete Society! I am humbled and honored to serve as this year’s President. Every year, with each changing of the guard, I am reminded how this Club’s Founders established an organization unmatched in terms of competition, camaraderie, and brotherhood. The leadership ever since has continued to set the bar even higher.
I saw that leadership firsthand when the incomparable Neil Juneau called me out of the bullpen to serve on his Board in year 36. I continued seeing it with each successor: Scott Thomas, Madison Mulkey, Neal Fortenberry, James Peltier, and Patrick Walker. No issue or event—not even Covid—was too big for those leaders to handle. The same can be said for the previous leadership, including those who have carried the torch since I entered the Club ten years ago: Patrick Mockler, Corey Eues, Craig Polk, and Carl Carver. I aim to continue the tremendous legacy and uphold this Club’s high standards. “If [we] have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
For year 42, we welcome 18 rookies and 2 returning members, bringing our membership total to 386. The continued popularity of this great Club is a testament to the membership. We will continue our schedule of 6-on-6, flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball, and golf. We will also continue our many social events, including each sport’s drafts, family nights, LLCs, tailgate party, Christmas party, bowling night, Super Bowl party, St. Patrick’s Day parade, and the year-ending BRAAS Bash (don’t miss Pat Walker’s year 41 Bash on August 20!). The old adage is especially true for this Club: You will get out of it what you put into it. Show up, bring your family, meet your brothers. You will not regret it.
A few notable updates for year 42. Covid and other conflicts created several hurdles over the past few years. We are fortunate that rookie orientation, the 6-on-6 draft, and the flag football draft will return to our flagship draft location: Mockler Beverage. Flag football will return to BREC’s Kathy Drive Park. We are confident basketball will return to Baton Rouge, too (more to come!). And with the updates to BREC’s Oak Villa fields complete, we are confident softball will return to the spring and volleyball to the summer. All that said, we are forever grateful to our friends at PARDS, Mango’s, BREC, and the other draft locations (the Legacy, Our Mom’s, Walk-On’s, Pointe-Marie). They all stepped up and ensured the show would go on.
We are working to streamline our communications to the Club. We anticipate sending single emails only on Monday and Thursday mornings, with as much information included as possible. Those emails will also link to the BRAAS website and a new “Events” section, which will include relevant event information. The website will be continually updated with other information, including our member directory and the member services Club members provide. When in doubt, check the website first! Print directories are also back by popular demand. In short, we hope to cover all bases in terms of Club information.
Additionally, with a huge push from Ryan Evans, the Club kick started the “BRAAS Health” initiative last year. Much more to come this year, including health screenings and other health resources. We’re also organizing at least two blood drives for year 42.
Lastly, we will continue supporting our “Brothers in Need” through BRAAStrong, highlighted by the annual volleyball fundraiser early next year. There will be other opportunities to show your support. As announced earlier this year, though, the BRAAStrong Foundation Board of Directors created the Neil Juneau Memorial Fund for Youth Activities. The fund is a testament to the impact Neil had on youth athletics throughout his lifetime. Indeed, Neil’s generosity directly impacted several current members. Please contact Madison Mulkey or any Board Member for questions, additional information, or to submit an application for a worthy individual.
I look forward to another outstanding BRAAS year. Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or ideas.
2022-2023 BRAAS President