U-Save Pharmacy catcher Ryan Bernal slides head first into third base against Kearney Little Caesars in a 2016 game at Ryder Park. That was the last year that Grand Island fielded a second seniors team before U-Save was restarted for this upcoming season.

The return of Legion baseball marks the return of a second seniors team in Grand Island. For the first time since 2016, the program has enough players to put a U-Save Pharmacy team on the field.

It also marks the return of head coach Ryan Hansen, who last coached the team in 2011.

Hansen said the goal for the season is pretty simple.

“Just go play,” he said. “We’re very lucky to have any kind of season. I want them to go out there and have a good time. It was so buggy not having any spring sports.

“These are all good kids, and they’re a dedicated, good bunch.”

The U-Save roster is also made up of a younger group of players.

“We have no seniors going off to college,” Hansens said. “We have eight juniors and five sophomores, so it’s a younger bunch. We have eight or nine who will try to pitch. We’ll see how things go. But with 13 players on the team, we’ll be able to rotate a lot.”

Hansen said it is important for Grand Island to be able to field two seniors teams.

“I thought it was terrible with the size of our town to not have the numbers out,” he said. “People want to work, and I totally understand that. But if I was asked to do it over and I could still play ball and still work, I would. I set practices to try to make it as easy as possible for people to do both.”

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