Hoback Park (HSYAA) Baseball and Softball

HSYAA Hoback Park

HSYAA (Heath Sertoma Youth Athletic Association) has managed the T-ball, baseball and softball programs at Hoback Park since the late 1960's. In fact, Heath Sertoma's main community project has been the administration of Hoback Park. The Heath News has agreed to allow HSYAA to showcase our program on a regular basis in the paper.

Our goal at Hoback is to encourage kids in the basics of ball playing in a recreational league. Our motto has become "Dedicated to the development of our children." Following is a very brief overview of the history of Hoback Park. Hoback Park was named after the first mayor of Heath - Richard "Bert" Hoback. The four field complex is called "Roger Matthews Fields" in honor of Roger Matthews, the 1st Parks Superintendent of Heath.

The Heath Sertoma was founded in 1966 with 25 charter members. The main project for this new service organization was to revive and grow the Heath Little League program. Before the Sertoma took over the program, it was destined to disband. It all began in 1966 with only one field. The program consisted of 3-4 boys little league baseball teams. There were no dugouts, only benches and the concession stand was a Pepsi trailer that had been donated to the program.

Sertoma's first project was to lay out the 4 fields as they are today. Dugouts were constructed in 1967-68. In 1969 the Evans Foundation donated $5,000 to the program for construction of backstops and fences. A small permanent concession stand was built in the 1970's. It was later replaced by the current larger concession stand still in use.

Due to the hard work and perseverance of many dedicated volunteers, the program now serves over 750 kids per year. The program encompasses t-ball for ages 5-6, girl's softball for ages 7-17 and boy's baseball for ages 7-12. There are 7 divisions of players and over 200 parents/coaches are involved.

This program has been a training ground for learning the fundamentals of sports, sportsmanship and personal development for thousands of youth in the Licking County area. HSYAA strives to instill the values of team play, honesty, courage and reverence. HSYAA Hoback Park is governed by a 13 member board. Heath Sertoma appoints seven board members and these 7 members appoint 6 league commissioners.