On behalf of the board, I wanted to update you on the status of Hanson Little League. The Board of Directors and I are preparing for another successful year for Hanson Little League Baseball. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to you, the parents. Your continued commitment to the league in bringing your son or daughter to the practices and cheering them on during games, along with your willingness to coach, volunteer, or simply help with our fund raising efforts enabled our players to experience a great 2016 baseball season along with the many valuable lessons that derive from citizenship, discipline, and teamwork.
This past year we completed major renovations on both the Boteiri major and minor league fields and they are looking great. Former Hanson little player Joseph Curran did his eagle scout project at the field and updated the stairway going from the top of the hill to the minor league field. You have to see it to appreciate it. He increased the width, added a second railing and landscaped the area around it. It looks great. We, along with parks and fields have plans to remove the rest of the overgrowth on the hill as well. We have purchased two new state of the art scoreboards and are looking at updating the bleachers.
Last season we had 29 regular season teams and 9 All Star Tournament teams. We offered spring, summer and fall baseball for the 8-15 age groups, which was a great success. And I’m happy to report that all three leagues will again be offered in 2017. In 2016 we ran our first annual Hanson Little League Tournament. It was a great success. We had 14 teams participate and all that participated said how well it was run and that they plan to come back in 2017. Congrats to our 11 year old team that went to the finals in their age group in the tournament. We also had success in our older age groups as our junior legion team in its third season won the zone 10 championship and placed 3rd in the entire state. Our senior fall team went undefeated and won the metro south fall league championship. The Little League Baseball program continues to promote the virtues of character, courage and loyalty; which are designed to develop superior citizens as well superior athletes.
The cost of operating a sports program for our children grows every year. Hanson Little League is a non-profit organization whose only sources of funds are registration fees, donations from generous sponsors, the concession stand, and fundraising activities. The continued fund raising efforts are crucial to our success and are needed to maintain all our fields and to keep our registration fees as low as possible. We would like to thank all our sponsors and encourage you to also help us in finding additional sponsors and retaining the ones we have. We would also like to thank Carin Scanlon who took over our snack shed and did an outstanding job.
We would like to thank members of the board who have retired Bill Dever, Dave Goldman, Kevin Leahy,Greg Collins and welcome new members Pat Burke, Dennis Carroll and Tom King. I would like to thank Eric Olson who was the vice president the last few years and really did a great job covering for me when I was out. He did a great deal of work for Hanson Little League and was the go to guy for almost everything.
We are always looking for new coaches and are increasing the support we give to our coaches. This season we will help the new coaches with running practices and with game management so don’t be afraid to step up!! We are stressing the player and coach development postions within the board and will have additional training available for both players and coaches in 2017.
We have also come up with a new league structure. We will continue with tball for ages 4-6. We now will have AA Baseball for the majority of 7/8 year old players. AAA Baseball for the majority of 9/10 year old players and majors for the majority of 11/12 year old players. Advanced players will be able to tryout and move up as in years past. Our goal is to make sure all players are in the leagues they are most suited for. We don’t want anyone to not be challenged but also to not feel overmatched. To help insure this happens we will be instituting mandatory tryouts for all players 7-12 to make sure we have each player evaluated and the teams are created equally. We will also need to make sure all players are signed up in a timely manner. In years past we have had several late sign ups after the teams have been made and that can throw off the balance of the league so we urge all parents to sign up their players on time. Evaluations will be done on March 4th.
Registration will open on January 1st and we are happy to announce there will be no increase in fees again this year. In addition to your child’s registration and fee, it is imperative a copy of your child’s birth certificate be on file with Hanson Little League. If your child’s birth certificate is presently on file with Hanson Little League, you will not have to supply one, if it is not please provide a copy with your child’s registration.