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Local coach honored for half-century of service

Updated: Oct. 23, 2017 at 2:36 PM EDT
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(Source: Michael Flynn/ WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Michael Flynn/ WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Michael Flynn/ WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Michael Flynn/ WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Family Photo)
(Source: Family Photo)

LYNDON, KY (WAVE) - A man who devoted his life to helping young athletes was honored Sunday at A. B. Sawyer Park.

With friends, family and state dignitaries on hand, the field at A. B. Sawyer Park was named after Dave Rice.

Coach Rice was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. This, after coaching softball for 49 years, beginning in 1968.

"It's a special kind of man, who will donate all of those years of volunteer coaching to the kids, and build those kinds of relationships he's built with these kids over the years," Bev Rice said.

Lyndon Recreation named the field after Coach Rice, who now shares the honor with longtime friend and fellow coach, Ron Jones.

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"I grew up at Lyndon Field, " one player said. "I started tee-ball when I was four. I'm extremely grateful I had the opportunity to play under Coach Rice. Not long ago I returned to Lyndon to watch Coach Rice in action again. It made me extremely happy to know those girls got to experience the honor of playing for such a wonderful coach, just as I did."

Congressman John Yarmuth was in attendance, and said Coach Rice's years of service reflected all of the best qualities of citizenship.

"When they asked me if it was okay if he share the field with my dad, I was like 'are you kidding me?" Allen Jones said. "My dad's jumping in heaven right now."

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