Momentum continues to build for the Oneida Special School District Board of Education to take up the naming of the Oneida High School football stadium in honor of the late Jim May.
At Thursday’s meeting, Kevin Acres appeared before the school board for the second time in as many months, presenting each board member with a packet of information that included testimonials from former players and other documentation in favor of naming the football stadium the Coach Jim May Memorial Stadium.
Acres, who serves in a volunteer capacity as the high school’s public address announcer, drew a comparison between Oneida High School and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, which plays football on Shields-Watkins Field in a stadium named for former head coach General Robert Neyland.
“This in no way affects the name of (Dr. M.E. Thompson Field),” Acres said, pointing out that the naming of the stadium would leave the field name intact. “Coach May elevated the Oneida football program and he also affected lives — not only his players, but everyone who knew him,” Acres said.
Before Acres spoke, former player Stan Pennington addressed the board, also calling for the stadium to be named after May. Pennington quarterbacked Oneida’s 1992 state championship team, which was coached by May.
“He deserves this recognition,” Pennington said. “The naming of the stadium is for the entire community.”
Ultimately, the board did not take action on the proposal at Thursday’s meeting, with chairman Dr. Nancy Williamson stating that “we will look at this, and do something pretty soon.”
Speaking after the meeting, Acres said he felt positive that the board will approve the proposal in the coming months.
Regular business before the board on Thursday included adopting meal price increases, a differential pay scale required by the state, and approval of letters of resignation from David Mays and band director Andrew Bernard.
The board also gave approval to seven updated school policies on second reading. The policies dealt with the use of private vehicles, workers’ compensation, separation practices for non-certified employees, use of cell phones, drug and alcohol testing for employees, drug-free schools, and student alcohol and drug testing.
The board unanimously approved the first fundraiser for the 2017-2018 school year, a request by the high school color guard to sell Sonic cards.