North Lamar Independent School District officials speak out about naming its softball field after a coach who served at the district for more than 40 years.
On April 28, 2012, a sports journalist at The Paris News published an article as a tribute to long-time coach Alden George. According to the article, George was the head coach of NL’s softball team for 10 of their first 12 seasons. The writer suggested that due to George’s dedication and achievements at the district, the Pantherette Softball Field be named the “Alden George Field.”
“That would honor the legendary coach for laying the groundwork for the now prosperous softball program but also for this years and dedication for the school in other sports,” said the writer, Brent Wilburn.
The article sparked interest in the community and conversations regarding naming the field after George began.
“My dad is a very humble guy so he would never ask for this,” said George’s daughter, Heather Moore. “We tried to contact the school multiple times and the ball really never got moving.”
Fast forward to October 24, 2018, when Moore emailed current NL Superintendent Jason Adams in hopes of picking up the conversation. According to Moore, Adams’ response indicated that the school did not have a naming policy in place and this would have to be adopted by the school board in order to move forward.
The conversation progressed and according to Moore, Adams notified Moore that the street between the baseball field and football field would be named in honor of George’s contributions to the district.
“We actually were not notified when the sign went up on that street which we were pretty disappointed by,” said Moore. “We are really grateful and appreciate the street is named after my dad, but we also really believe naming the field after him is the right thing for the school to do. He gave so much and if it weren’t for him then the softball team wouldn’t where they are today.”
Those in support of the cause have created a Facebook page and petition to rally people together and show the board that the community is in support of naming the field after George. Moore said they plan to address the school board at the February school board meeting as a public comment.
As a result of Moore’s email to Adams, the school board has since adopted a policy (see below) for naming facilities on campus which would not exclude the softball field being named after George.
“Coach Alden George is an instrumental part of North Lamar’s history and has been recognized twice in the last couple of years for his contributions to the district,” said Carla Coleman, Public Relations Director. “At the November 12 NLISD School Board meeting, the board approved naming the street between the stadium and the baseball field Alden George Way. In 2017 Coach George was named to the NL Athletic Hall of Fame along with ten others.”
The petition on Change.org currently has more than 220 signatures with a goal of reaching 500 by the February school board meeting.
“The doors are open to anyone wishing to name a facility or structure. They would just need to follow the appropriate procedures,” said Dr. Adams.
Coach Alden George retired from North Lamar in 2015 after serving the district for 44 years.