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Summer of Ray's: What a wonderful season it's been for Hentges

Former Helias coach Ray Hentges tours the new stadium named in his honor. (Tom Loeffler/KRCG13)

JEFFERSON CITY --- There are road trips, then there are road trips.

This one just happened to last 60 years.

On Aug. 18, the Helias Crusaders will debut their new 17-acre, $13 million athletic facility --- a facility that's a lot more than just football --- against Hannibal at Ray Hentges Stadium, a night that's sure to create some spin-tingling emotions.

Public School Stadium/Adkins Stadium served well as the home for the program since the 1950s. The Crusaders enjoyed a lot of great wins and made a lot of great memories on those hallowed grounds.

But now, it's time to make new great memories on their own turf.

Tuesday, it was indeed an honor and privilege to tour the grounds with the stadium's namesake --- doubly-so since it was the first time Ray been inside the construction fences.

There's only one first, after all.

"Wow, this is nice," Hentges said. "It's special. That night will be our first real home game, and it's been a long time coming. I think all the people who contributed money to this will look at it and say: 'I'm glad I did it, this is special.'"

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