Thanks to a change of heart by a member of the Waterford Schools Board of Education, two of Waterford Kettering High School’s athletic fields will now be named in honor of two former Kettering coaches.
The school board voted 4-3 at its Thursday, March 15 meeting to have Kettering’s football and baseball fields renamed to recognize long-time Kettering football coach Jim Larkin and former Kettering baseball coach Tom Bryce.
The move comes a couple months after the board’s Jan. 19 meeting, when it voted by a 4-3 margin to reject the field naming proposal, with Joan Sutherland, John Himmelspach, Heather Halls, and Robin McGregor each casting votes against the proposal. At the time, Sutherland said granting the field naming request would set a precedent for more name change requests.
However, on March 15, McGregor called for another vote. She, along with Bob Piggott, Robert Petrusha, Jr., and Robert Seeterlin voted in favor of the name changes.
“After talking to many of the staff that have worked with Mr. Larkin and Mr. Bryce, everyone’s question was ‘why not?’” McGregor said. “I did my research and we have showed our appreciation as a district to many others. If the community wants to name two fields, that’s who elected me to office. We have named a library, schools and rooms in the past.”
Former Kettering teacher Hal Farah, one of the organizer’s of Kettering’s 50th anniversary celebration this year, originally recommended the renaming of the fields.
When the proposal was originally rejected, it touched off a spark of outrage among Kettering alumni and other Waterford residents, who made their voices heard through phone calls, a Facebook page and public comments at the school board’s Feb. 2 meeting.
Kettering’s 50th anniversary celebration is scheduled for June 22-23.