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New youth baseball league coming to Hastings

A new youth baseball league is coming to Hastings.

Raider Nation Little League plans to begin its first season in just six months. The program will be for boys ages 9 through 12. Organizers are planning for their league to be a rich experience for young boys with uniforms, announcers at games, competition among teams and no traveling, except for the playoffs.

It will not be part of the Hastings Youth Athletic Association. HYAA will continue to operate its program as well. Raider Nation Little League board members and HYAA board members worked together to come up with a suitable plan for the two entities to work together, but no such plan could be developed.

The new league has former Miesville Mudhens pitcher Will Hilton as its president, and Jim Olson as its vice president.

Both say they simply want a better baseball program in Hastings, and they think Little League is the way to accomplish that.

"Baseball has become the fourth or fifth sport in town," Olson said. "The numbers are dwindling so bad."

"We are unhappy with the status quo," Hilton said.

"This is a group of people that are concerned about the state of baseball here," Olson said.

The board of directors is in place, some sponsorships have been lined up and now the league is looking for a home. Lions Park is a possibility, and the league is working with the city to come up with a plan for a ballpark. No matter where they end up, the organizers of the league hope to bring some atmosphere to the games. They think that by being specific to one sport, by using their resources and by seeking business sponsorships, they'll be able to improve their fields and the surroundings.

"We don't have to give our money to soccer, and we don't have to give it to softball," Hilton said. "It will go to our program."

More on Little League

Little League is a non-profit organization. Board members don't get paid and there are no fundraisers. Rather, organizers will seek business sponsorships to offset the fees of running the league.

More details:

• There will be two leagues -- one league for 9- and 10-year-olds and one league for 11- and 12-year-olds.

• Teams would be evenly matched.

• All games would be played in Hastings, with the exception of district playoffs. The best players from each age group would be put together to form an all-star team to compete in the playoffs.

• The regular season would run from May 1 to July 1. Playoffs would be in July.

• There are no cuts, and no players are turned away if they cannot afford the $125 entry fee.

More information

For more information, write the league at