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Butler County Horseshoe League hanging on

August 7, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Bud Neff, of Herman, throws a horseshoe against Ron Hans, left, Tuesday night in a league match at the Dew Drop Inn. Once 10 teams strong, the league has just three teams this season and is trying to survive. Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle

A league that's been around since 1953, with a well-established and historical Hall of Fame, has roots that are well-secured.

The Butler County Horseshoe League fits that bill, but the security of those roots has been tested this year.

A 10-team league at its peak, the circuit has only three teams competing this season with approximately 15 pitchers on each team.

“We used to have 10 teams with 20 pitchers on each team. That's quite a drop-off,” said Jim Brandt, captain of the Dew Drop Inn squad and a league member for 17 years.

Ron Watson, a league member for 32 years and West Sunbury team captain for 25, said his team barely has enough pitchers to complete a match at times.

“We've got 14 on the roster and it takes 12 to get through a match,” Watson said. “If a couple of people can't make it or someone is on vacation, it gets pretty tight.”

This is an excerpt - pick up the Friday Butler Eagle or subscribe online to learn more.

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John Enrietto

John Enrietto

I graduated with a Journalism degree from Ohio University in 1979. I started at the Eagle on August 24, 1997. My awards include 2nd place in feature writing from Ohio Associated Press (while working for the Steubenville Herald-Star), media award from Lernerville Speedway and 3rd place in a Pennsylvania AP contest for story feature.