The name of a football stadium is often closely tied to the teams that play on that field.
Green Bay plays on Lambeau field, named after early great coach Curly Lambeau. That fact never seemed to bother Coach Vince Lombardi, who led the Packers to the first two Super Bowls.
Of course, the Super Bowl trophy now bears his name.
Rather than change the name of Clemson’s Memorial Stadium, school officials simply named the actual playing field after Coach Frank Howard years later.
Easley High School will have a new home football stadium soon, most likely for the 2012 season. The question some fans are already asking is “what will we call it?”
The current stadium is called, “Brice Field,” after Jim Brice, who began his career as coach of the Green Wave in 1929. He was actually the school’s six coach since the program began in 1923.
But Brice led the Green Wave to its first state championship in 1937. Perhaps more importantly, Brice eventually accepted the positions of high school principal, then later the superintendant of Easley area schools. Many attribute Brice’s high ideals and dedication to excellence as an inspiration to a generation that helped Easley grow into the biggest city in Pickens County.
Several traditionalists would like to see the “Brice Field” sign simply moved a few miles down SC 8, and placed at the new field. Others feel the name Brice Field should stay where it is at, which will be the new home field for the Gettys Middle School Breakers.
Some would argue that the field should be named after Bill Carr, who came to the school in 1957 and led Easley to the 1962 state title. Many who remember Carr’s years at Easley High School say perhaps he was a better teacher than he was a coach. He left Easley, and for many years coached the Spartanburg Vikings. But eventually, he returned to Easley, and served as the city’s mayor from 1983-1999. Carr brought the football team, the school and the city to new heights. While a room at West End Hall is named the Carr Center, many of his longtime supporters feel it is only appropriate that an athletic facility be given his name. And what better facility to bear his name that the EHS football field?
There is also support for naming the new field after Larry Bagwell. The current Easley mayor was coach of the Green Wave from 1966 through 1991. He also has the distinction of winning two state titles — one his first year and a second in 1972, with future NFL star Stanley Morgan leading the way.
Bagwell has had the longest tenure as coach of the Green Wave, has won the most games, and won the most state titles. His supporters argue that nobody deserves to have his name associated with the new stadium more than he does.
Others suggest that instead of naming the new stadium after a former coach, the school should name it after perhaps it’s greatest player, Morgan. Morgan played in the NFL for many seasons with the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, and appeared in Super Bowl XX in 1986. He is still the career leader in all-purpose yards for the Tennessee Volunteers.
There are few remaining who saw Paul Rampey lead the 1937 team to the state title, but many have heard to stories of the athlete who excelled at practically every sport at the school, and helped make Easley a force in high school competition. Some would like to see his name on the new Easley High School stadium.
A few fans would like to see Easley move away from naming the new field after an former athlete or a coach. Some have suggested naming the field after Doris Childress.
Doris lived a simple life in a very complicated world. He loved his friends and family, and he loved his Easley Green Wave. Everything else revolved around that. Some feel that naming the field after Childress would help fans learn to have his child-like faith in the team, and would help fans through tough seasons.
The final option we’ll look at is the option of not naming the stadium after anyone. Some people would like to see the new facility simply named, “Easley Stadium,” or “Green Wave Field.” Choosing one legend over the others would simply lead to hurt feelings, they argue. And having a field named after you does not necessarily mean future generations will remember your accomplishments. Do casual South Carolina fans know for whom Williams-Brice Stadium was named? Do casual Pickens fan know who inspired the name “Bruce Field?”
So there are your options. Go to our home page and vote! If you have comments, please send them to email@example.com or P.O. Box 709, Easley, SC 29641.