News: Loyal – Summer Recreation (Jul - 1974)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Rayhorn, Rowley, Fredrickson, Hills, Brussow, Zupanc

----Source: Tribune Record Gleaner (Loyal, Clark Co., WI) 6/27/1974

Loyal – Summer Recreation (July - 1974)

Mingling with Mary (By Mary Woods)

Bruce Rayhorn explains the fundamentals of baseball to four children who partake in the summer recreation program. They are, left to right, Pam Rowley, Darcey Fredrickson, Bruce Rayhorn, Tim Hills and Rick Brussow.

Summer is the time for youngsters to get together with their friends and enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, tennis and playing ball and in the City of Loyal, the summer recreation program offers a well-organized schedule designed to benefit those who partake in the activities as well as provide them with summer fun.

Under the direction of Bruce Rayhorn, for the past five years, the program is open to all youngsters who attend Loyal Schools, with the stipulation that children partaking in the swimming program must be at least 3’6” tall, and have finished first grade. This regulation is enforced due to the fact that the swimming pool at Colby begins at 3 feet.

Commenting on the swimming program, Rayhorn points out that the students are bused to Colby four days a week for two hours. The students are accompanied by Miss Terri Zupanc of Loyal to the pool while Rayhorn works with the youngsters who partake in other sport activities. Rayhorn notes that approximately 250 students ae participating in the swimming program. When the students arrive in Colby they are given swimming instructions by the staff at the school, and according to Rayhorn, “the swimming program has shown great results over the past two years. The students enjoy the indoor pool and to be taught the fundamentals of swimming is very important to the youngsters.”

Turning to the softball and baseball part of the program, Rayhorn states that approximately 45 kids are either involved in Pee Wee or baseball teams with the girls playing softball. He explains that the kids play ball for one and a-half hours, three days a week. “We try to have some night games so the parents can attend, but with the city leagues it’s pretty hard to find a night that the diamond is open. Some of the mothers do come up to the games during the day and watch their son or daughter play ball, but in order to allow the fathers to see their sons play, we usually end the season with a father and son game. This is perhaps the biggest game of all, for the fathers and the boys, for it allows the kids to show to their fathers what they have accomplished over the summer and for the fathers, it’s always turns out to be a nice evening and as a conclusion we always have snacks and reminisce about whose father was the fastest runner for his age, and what boys hit the most home runs!!!

It was also noted by Rayhorn that the boys who play on the Babe Ruth League and their fathers attended a game of the Wisconsin Rapids Twins. The team is a minor league which is associated with the Minnesota Twins. Commenting further on the Babe Ruth League, he replies with great satisfaction that the league has probably lost no more than five games in the last three years. He attributes this to the fact that in Loyal the boys may begin playing ball in the first grade if they want to and other schools limit their teams to fifth grade players. “When a boy starts playing ball in first grade It’s logical that he will be a better player than the boys who just started playing. The school purchased a batting tee which allows the little players to practice batting, and this is a fine asset to have in the summer program.” Rayhorn stated that the team plays against teams from Abbotsford, Spencer, Greenwood, Thorp, and Owen-Withee.

Commenting on a new rule that was recently passed which states little league is no longer limited to the male, Rayhorn remarked that no girl has “seriously” asked to play on the league, but that the girls do enjoy playing against the boys.”

Tennis is another sport that is enjoyed by both boys and girls, according to Rayhorn. “We have some fairly decent players of tennis in the program which is new this year. We set aside one and half hours, two days a week for the lessons and it seems to be a sport which everyone enjoys.”

Rayhorn, himself a graduate of Loyal High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball is head basketball and football coach at Almond High School, along with teaching physical education in the school system. He is a 1972 graduate of the UW-La Crosse, where he received a double major in physical education and health. Asked why he runs the summer program, he commented, “I really enjoy the satisfaction that comes from seeing the youngsters improve over the summer, along with enjoying the outdoors. I tried a factory job once and it just wasn’t a job for me. I have worked with the kids for the past five years and truly enjoy it. The cooperation that is given to us by the school district and the parents of all the children is greatly appreciated, for without it, the program could not operate at its best. One thing that I notice is the cooperation of the farmers to drive their children to town to partake in the summer program, and this means a lot, not only to the kids, but to me.”

Satisfaction and pride is something that is also noted in the watch that was given to “Coach Hupper”, the nickname given to him while he was in school, and the name that all the students refer to him as. The watch was presented to him in 1970, as the season came to an end, and Rayhorn as he looked at the watch, stated, “It’s perhaps my most prized possession.”

For Bruce Rayhorn, the winter months, are filled with sport activities, and kids from Almond, but for the summer, he always finds himself coming back to Loyal, where he can work with the kids, enjoy kids, and enjoy the people who make it all possible.



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