Coach Jim May touched a lot of lives at Oneida high school, both on and off the football field.
Thursday night community members and former players spoke up about a way to honor the school's winningest coach.
"He meant so much to so many people in this community outside of football,” explained board member Mark Matthews.
That's how many across Oneida describe Coach May. May owns the school's best record and delivered the school its only state title in 1992. 20 years after his death, the impact he made is still being felt.
"We never got to honor him when he was alive, he died right down here on this sideline. We were playing Cosby during the regular season and he fell down and had a heart attack," Matthews said. "Just one of those things, I guess. He died doing what he loved."
Board members were given a petition with 250 signatures backing the idea of naming the stadium after Coach May. They also heard from those close to him on how he changed their lives.
“Never give up, dig deep, and keep working hard,” one former player said.
Board members said there hasn't been any pushback to the idea, but there is some concern the field would lose its current name in honor of prominent community physician Dr. M. E. Thompson. Board Chair Dr. Nancy Williamson said there are no plans to change the name of the field, only to name the stadium around it.
"I’m just excited about Jim May memorial stadium, it's going to be great,” Kevin Acers said.
Board member Mark Matthews is confident they'll be able to work it out.
"It would be such an honor to show this community and his family what he meant to us,” Matthews said.
Board members plan to meet between now and the August meeting to decide how the naming process will work. A vote is expected in August.
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