Community Heroes: Little league coach dedicated to giving special needs players the spotlight

Community Heroes

GRAY, Tenn. (WJHL) Each week on ABC Tri-Cities, we honor people who make our region a better place to live. We call them Community Heroes. This week, we introduce you to Curt Karty.

A heart full of compassion and support, all in one field.

“He pursues and pushes other people to succeed in everything they are trying to do,” Chris and Katie Rude told Pheben Kassahun.

The two are parents of Cohen Rude who plays baseball for the Daniel Boone Challenger League, in Gray.

Curt Karty coaches the Daniel Boone Challenger League in Gray, cheering on his little leaguers with special needs.

“He is very much supportive of absolutely everybody that he encounters and loves on them with everything in him,” Rude said.

“This gives them the opportunity to participate and get out in the field and exercise and learn how to play baseball and have a great time,” Daniel Boone Challenger League, Coach Curt Karty said.

His team also adores him!

Daniel Boone Challenger League player, Cohen Rude said, “Coach Kurt is awesome!”

“He’s a very good coach,” Daniel Boone Challenger League player, Rylee Hinkle said.

Eleven-year-old Rhylee Hinkle, has had the opportunity to expand into other sports like basketball, all thanks to Coach Karty.

“It’s fun,” Hinkle said. “I love Challenger League. They have always been my favorite league to play.’

Rhylee’s step-father, Eric Matheson said, “He has taken this league and given opportunities to these individuals’ special needs otherwise, they wouldn’t have had. He gets them out, they get to enjoy sports, they get to participate in team activities and just makes it great for them.”

Eric Matheson said Coach Karty has given kids with special needs opportunities that they might not have normally had.

“They get to play ball, they get to be on a team. They get to understand what team dynamics are, how sports work, or otherwise, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity,” Matheson said.

“It’s also taught things from a developmental standpoint, such as hand-eye coordination and things like that, that are truly things that he may be delayed on,” Chris Rude said. “There becomes also a physical therapy aspect of being out on the field where we can work together.”

In a statement from Rhylee’s mom, Keisha Matheson, she described Carty as someone who is dedicated.

Kurt also organizes Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine for this area. Kurt always goes above & beyond to give these very special individuals opportunities that they might not otherwise have. Kurt always knows each player by name & ensures that they receive ample recognition throughout the year. Kurt is known to say that Saturdays (game day) are his favorite day of the week because he gets to see all the players come out & enjoy playing in the games.

Keisha Matheson
Little League mother

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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