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Don Malinak Stadium — Divisive

June 6, 2008
DENNIS HAVEN KELLER — Altoona
The name chosen for the new Central Mountain Football Stadium should have full community support. The name of the stadium should not be named in honor of a coach from one area. Obviously, Don Malinak was a good coach and one who had a positive impact on a large number of his players and students. Coach Malinak has to feel honored that his former players want to name the new stadium in his honor, but it is the wrong choice.

Several of Walt Diehl’s teams won West Branch championships and there may be people who feel he deserves to have the new football stadium named in his honor. Would the people from Sugar Valley and/or Lock Haven be in favor of this? I don’t think so. Let us not forget the track coaches and the various assistant coaches who contributed to their teams’ successes, too.

When the new district was formed, did they not choose a new school name, a new school mascot and new school colors? To choose anything associated with the previous schools would be divisive. More monies can be raised if all students, parents, other community members and local businesses have ownership in the fundraising effort. Asking some of the businesses to contribute to the Don Malinak Stadium project puts them in the middle. After all, their customers come from all over the Keystone Central School District. The Lock Haven Express needs to keep this in mind, also.

There are some successful entrepreneurs who may contribute $100,000 so the stadium could be named after themselves or someone of their choice. If that becomes the case, how do we decide on the name for the new stadium? Let’s choose a name that everyone in the Central Mountain School District would support. For example, Harris Lipez did a lot to promote sports in the area.

Let’s make it possible to honor not only coaches, but also successful players as well as community members who have promoted sports in our area. Maybe a “Wall of Honor” could be erected within or near the stadium complex. Community members could make contributions to support the person they want to have honored. Bronze plaques or the like could in inserted in this wall to recognize an individual’s accomplishments. A large stone or brick patio would enhance the area and would be a place for people to congregate before and after games. I’m sure an architect could come up with a suitable design.

Naming the stadium after a coach of the past is a nice gesture but not the right decision, for it is divisive. From the beginning, steps have been taken to unify the students, the teachers and the community behind the “new” Central Mountain High School. Let’s not undo the successes accomplished to date.



Submitted via Virtual Newsroom
 
 

 

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