Ray Hentges to Show-Me State Games athletes: ‘Stay active’


Ray Hentges didn’t just talk to local families about staying active as a lifelong pursuit. 

He showed them.

Mr. Hentges spoke briefly at the opening of the Jefferson City torch-running festivities for this summer’s Show-Me State Games.

He also competed as a golfer in the Senior Show-Me State Games.

“At 80, I can’t play much basketball or football,” he acknowledged. “But I can still play golf.”

Sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and hosted by the University of Missouri in Columbia, the Show-Me State Games promote physical fitness and family fun.

Mr. Hentges, a legendary retired Helias Catholic High School coach and religion instructor, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee and namesake of the school’s football stadium, plays golf four or five times a week.

He emphasized the importance of staying active at every stage of life, for the sake of physical and mental health.

He encouraged parents to help get their kids interested in fitness early in life, competing at a friendly level.

“Find a good sport you enjoy, and stay with it,” he suggested. “Some people fish, some play tennis. I just happen to like golf.”

A graduate of the old St. Peter High School in Jefferson City, Mr. Hentges coached Helias Catholic’s varsity football Crusaders for 33 years, as well as the golf team.

Competing in numerous sports convinced him that “none presents the kind of challenge that golf can present to you.”

The appeal for him lies in always having a formidable opponent — the course.

“Whether you play with a group of people or go out and play by yourself, the course will always challenge you,” he said.