Itís time to move Small Stadium
Tuesday August 9, 2011 | By:Dave Ricci, Sports Reporter
One of the hardest things is life is saying goodbye to an old friend.
Tonawanda, it's time to do such a thing and bid farewell to Clinton H. Small Stadium as we know it.
Some so called purists are oppose to moving the stadium and are instead calling for repairs to be made to the current Main Street facility. Feeling that this would preserve something that is large part of the C.O.T.'s history.
But people need to understand that the stadium is beyond what some touch ups and a few repairs can do.
Why risk a long term injury, or God forbid something worse simply because people are hesitant to change?
I understand all about the tradition of this stadium. I lived in Tonawanda for eight years, the majority of the time was spent on Fuller Avenue, just around the corner from Small Stadium.
I've written several times about how the very first scholastic sporting event I ever worked was a Tonawanda Lady Warriors soccer game at Small Stadium. And how, to me, the scholastic season doesn't really kick off until I've made my first trip to this historic venue.
But times change. It's time to move forward with the project that would relocate Small Stadium to the Tonawanda High School grounds.
I often I hear Tonawandans comment on the lack of respect they feel their school and its athletes receive from other schools in Western New York.
What better way to help infuse pride then with a revamped athletic facility?
It would raise the pride kids have in their school and inspire them to want to come out for a sport.
I've been to many schools in the area that have redone its facilities, Nichols and St. Joe's jump to mind.
People walk away from those complexes with their jaws on the floor commenting how beautiful they are.
Saying things like "I wish we had a complex like this at our school."
I'm not saying Tonawanda should replicate exactly what Joe's and Nichols have done. They should, however, take the example and realize that the chance to do something good and long lasting for the kids of Tonawanda is within our power.
Why hold back?
Let's not confuse maintaining tradition with short-sheeting our children's future. If the Stadium is part of Clinton Small's legacy in the C.O.T. then let's honor his memory the way he would want it honored, by doing what is best for our kids.
Playing in a facility that is somewhere between eye-sore and dangerous is not what Small would want for the kids. That's not the way to maintain Warrior pride.
Again, I know about how deeply Small Stadium is woven into the fabric of the City of Tonawanda. It's part of the childhood and lives of everyone who has ever lived in Tonawanda. It's been home to thousands of athletes, coaches and their families.
Countless wonderful lasting memories have been created there. But memories aren't housed in bleachers, snack stands and locker rooms. They are stored in our hearts and minds.
Time has come to create new memories in a new home.
It's the right thing to do, Tonawanda.