Rashad Billingsley can be described as a motivator. The definition is a person who promotes interest in or enthusiasm for something. Rashad is an active part of Newport sports, both girls and boys. He is the father of four young girls, but still finds the time to volunteer with young men of this community. The Billingsley family is a very close, supportive family. As a family oriented group, Rashad and his wife Demetrice balance live in order to live it to the fullest. Contributing to the youth of the community is important to them, so making time to volunteer is a family affair. The couple are actively involved in their children’s lives each and every day. “I love my family, picking them up when they fall, and showing them the way,” states Rashad.
    A day in the life of Rashad and Demetrice is rarely dull. The couples’ four daughters keep them busy. The youngest, McKenna, is one year old and is the baby. She is very playful, thinks everything is funny and loves to eat. Next in line is Nevaeh. A typical two year old, Toddy, as she is called, loves Mother Goose Club, Mickey Mouse, Minions, Trolls and more. Sharing the middle, Ay’Inahs (Baby) is six years old going, but acts as though she is seventeen. She is very active, loves to meet people, has many friends, and looks like her father. Leading the pack is the couple’s twelve year old ShaNiyah. Boo, as she is called, is “the boss.” She tends to keep the younger siblings in line. They do not mess with her. “She was born with cerebral palsy, an abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance and posture. Her spirit is exceptional. Not a day goes by without a smile on her face. Although she cannot talk, walk or do many of the things independently, she is creative in finding a way,” states Rashad.
    Demetrice Friar Billingsley is the mother of the rowdy crew. She is a Wal-Mart employee and has worked there about five years. The couple have been inseparable since high school. “Back then, we never expected to have four daughters. She always wanted a boy!” Rashad laughs. The couple were great friends growing up in Newport. Naturally, the relationship grew and they are happily married sharing a crazy life together. Rashad and Demetrice attend the Greater Morning Star Baptist Church and have been members for almost two decades.
    Rashad graduated from Newport High School in 2005 and attended University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff playing baseball. As a true freshman, Rashad started at second base and was instrumental in the turnaround of the program at the university. He was a UAPB Golden Flower with a fielding percentage in the .90s. After college, Rashad played for the Pine Bluff Braves, a semi-pro team. After graduation from University of Arkansas with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, Rashad returned to his young family in Newport and immediately began volunteering in the lives of young athletes. He has been a volunteer coach for every Newport sport. His roles include Pee Wee Basketball Coach, Supervisor for the Pee Wee Basketball program, Pee Wee Football Coach, Newport’s first Head Jr. High Baseball Coach, and Head Coach of the 13-15 Baseball Ozark League Team, which finished 2nd in district with a record of 16-2.
    Rashad never dreamed that he would return to Newport and love life here as much as he does. “I love watching my kids grow, wear the orange and black and having the opportunity to help mold the young male athletes into adults,” states Rashad. With the unending support of Demetrice and his family, Rashad is and will continue to have an impact on the lives of young athletes in Newport.