Hastings Football Connections formed
The Hastings football community is now more connected than ever.
This summer, Hastings Football Connections took shape. The group launched its website, formed a board and is officially up and running.
The non-profit organization spells out its mission like this:
"The mission of the HFC is to promote football in the Hastings community and foster moral leadership in our athletes. Our focus is to support the HHS football program, work with the Hastings youth football programs, and strengthen connections within the Hastings community."
Hastings head football coach Dana Strain said the organization is a way for people who support the program to connect with one another and find ways to help the program. And the second main reason for the group is to make football more enjoyable for the kids who play it.
HFC vice president Sarah Wasvick said over the years she has seen first-hand how tight-knit the wrestling community in Hastings is. She is hoping that HFC can bring the same kind of atmosphere to the football community.
"We want to see if we can include that (feeling of community) into the football program as well," she said.
The group has started on that mission by developing a website and by connecting to a number of people within the community who can help make the program better. For example: Among the parents and members of the football community, there are a number of photographers. Those photographers plan to shoot many of the games this year. Their photos will then be available online at the HFC website for parents and family members to view and get copies of. Services like that will help make the football experience a more rich one, according to HFC organizers.
Networking will be improved because of the formation of the group, organizers say.
According to the website, fundraising will be part of what the group does. The funds will be used to support the program and make a difference in the football program.
As the group puts it on their website:
"The HFC fulfills its mission with recognition and team-building events, as well as fulfilling requests for other special needs (equipment, clinics, etc.). The HFC is able to support the Raiders through a variety of volunteering and fundraising opportunities.
"Participation in the HFC provides opportunities to meet other football fans from the community and Hastings Raiders football parents, plan and organize football related events, and make a difference in Raiders football."
Practice starts this season on Aug. 17. The annual Blue-Gold scrimmage is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 25, and the first game is Sept. 4.
A tailgate party is planned before the Blue Gold game. More information is coming on that event.
Board members are: president -- Marv Hakseth; vice president -- Sarah Wasvick; secretary -- Mari Mellick; treasurer -- Darlene Anderson; directors at large -- Tom Handrich and Jayme Reinisch; head coach -- Dana Strain; Little Raiders representative -- Marty Sieh; and business community representative -- Tom Kranz.