By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
Zeke Luna, chairman of the City of San Benito Parks and Recreation Board, which operated the San Benito Youth Baseball-Softball Organization last year, confirmed recently that Jerry Hernandez, President of the Harlingen National Bronco League, would be operating the San Benito league under the San Benito National Bronco League name.
First and foremost, Hernandez wanted to make one thing clear to those expressing concerns as to the Harlingen National Bronco League’s involvement – Harlingen is not taking over the San Benito league, he said.
“Nobody is taking over your league,” Hernandez said. “We’re trying to do you a favor to fix the league. San Benito has a lot of talent.”
Hernandez, who is originally from San Benito, along with members of the Harlingen National Bronco Executive Board acquired the SBYBSO for $0 from the city, which he said will have no involvement with the league. He emphasized that the San Benito league is a standalone entity separate from Harlingen.
“We are going to interlock,” Hernandez said. “We’ll have Harlingen teams play San Benito teams, but they will be two separate leagues. The money will be put into two different accounts. All money we generate from the San Benito league will be spent in San Benito. I’m not going to bring any (San Benito league funding) to Harlingen.”
Hernandez said he also plans to make changes to benefit the league. Among those changes are cutting the former registration fee from $55 per child to a flat fee of $30, which includes insurance for the kids.
“We’ll hire teenagers to help in tournaments, just to get them involved,” said Hernandez. “I spoke to Judge David Garza, and anybody that has a small violation who can’t afford to pay a fine, they’ll get community service. So if we have a game they’ll report to us and help us with anything.”
“All we’re trying to do is fix that program, I know we have a lot of potential in San Benito,” Hernandez continued. “When people start seeing improvements without the city’s money, they’ll understand what we’re trying to do. But we need help.”
Registration for baseball and softball is held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stookey Park in San Benito, where games will reportedly be played this upcoming season. Those interested may also sign up at MJ Screen Printing on Williams Road. For more information, call Hernandez at (956) 793-8142.
Read this story in the Feb. 10 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.