While several area football stadiums' monikers are tied to the home team's mascot - Cadet Field, Cougar Field, Warrior Field - the gridirons in Marietta and Belpre were named in honor of former coaches and athletes.
Don Drumm Stadium, where Marietta College and Marietta High School's football teams play, bears the name of a Pioneer athlete who lettered in football, baseball and basketball, then returned to the college to coach those sports. In between, he played professional football as a member of the Canton Bulldogs. Drumm also served as the college's athletic director from 1947 to 1959.
College sports information director Jeff Schaly said his father - renowned MC baseball coach Don Schaly, namesake of the college's baseball field - played baseball and football for Drumm when he was a student.
Longtime Belpre High School football coach Ralph Holder talks about how he came to work in the district in 1961 as he walks down the steps in the stadium named for him after he retired in 1995.
"My dad used to say that there (were) four men in his life that he respected - and it was his father, his father-in-law, and then at Marietta College, it was Drumm and a math professor," Jeff Schaly recalled.
The stadium was built in 1934 as a project of the federal Works Progress Administration, designed to get the unemployed working during the Great Depression. The 3,000-seat, tiered concrete stadium was initially called Municipal Stadium, according to the college's website, www.marietta.edu.
It was re-dedicated as Don Drumm Stadium on Sept. 24, 1966.
Athletic facility namesakes
The Harry W. Cooper Annex at Waterford Elementary School, where the high school's basketball and volleyball teams play, is named for the man who worked in the district for more than 30 years as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent.
The Hank Morus Gymnasium at Frontier High School is named for the first boys basketball coach at the consolidated school in the 1968-69 season. He coached for 13 years at Frontier and 13 years prior to that at Newport High School.
The Sutton Gymnasium at Marietta High School is named for Frank Sutton, who played baseball, basketball and football at MHS, excelled in multiple sports at Marietta College and returned to the high school in 1917, coaching all sports. After coaching football and basketball at Still College in Iowa, he returned to Marietta in 1929 and resumed coaching high school sports.
Source: Times research.
Belpre High School's Ralph Holder Stadium was christened the year after its namesake retired after 34 years at the helm of the football team. Holder still attends home games in the stadium that bears his name.
"It really makes you humble, because that's not why you coach," he said.
Holder said he was surprised when former players lobbied the board to name the stadium after him so soon after his departure.
Belpre City Board of Education member Rod Hineman, who taught with Holder, said the coach was one of multiple Belpre coaches and assistants who stayed with the school for 10, 20 and even 30 years.
"That's just amazing that a person stays that long, that he didn't jump to a bigger school or go to a small college," Hineman said. "I doubt that we'll ever have somebody stay a decade again."
Hineman said he feels the naming of the stadium is appropriate, but noted it can be tricky sometimes to honor one individual and not another.
The track at the football field was named after Paul Wiley, a longtime coach at the district who oversaw the school - and Washington County's - only state athletic championship, taking the track crown in 1952.
"We're almost as old as I am in terms of how long it's been - that's how difficult it is," said Hineman, who was one of the board members that approved that naming about 10 years ago.