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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

Making Raymond Waldron Memorial Sports Complex a Reality

By | Sports

There have been a lot of people pushing for the athletic complex on the Saratoga Springs High School campus to be named in honor of the late Raymond Waldron. Ray passed away a little over a month ago, and I had written a column about the importance and impact of Ray's life and influence on this community and the school district.

 

The school district already has buildings and auditoriums named for former teachers and administrators of the district. Ray demonstrated a love for his job and community through his deep involvement. As one person stated on Facebook, "This is a no-brainer." The realm of social media shows a lot of sincere support for the naming of the athletic complex as the "Raymond Waldron Memorial Athletic Complex” or similar, to honor the late coach. I don't know if there is a process in the making for this, but if there isn't, then it's time to get one in motion.

When I signed a contract with the Saratoga Spring School District in 1972, it was only two years later that I was named the head boys basketball coach. Ray sat down with me and advised me on what he thought I should do as the head coach. It wasn't just about basketball, it was about community involvement. He suggested I should live in Saratoga, and move out of the Glens Falls area where I was living at the time. His message was plain and simple; to be involved, it's about community and its people. Saratoga became my hometown and I'm proud of it. My point is simple. Coach Waldron believed in Saratoga so much, that he felt it to be a necessity to live in the school district as a teacher or coach for you to become part of the community and its social make up. To this day, I feel that Mr. Waldron was spot on with this philosophy.

I know there are some people who feel that not naming the complex in the recognition of anyone might be the political thing to do. My belief is to the contrary. The politically correct thing to do is naming that complex after the man who was the longest reigning athletic director in district history. There are many community programs that were spearheaded by "The Bear" (though he was more like a Teddy bear) such as Pop Warner football and Biddy Basketball. More than anything, Ray Waldron was to Saratoga Springs like Casey Stengel was to the New York Yankees - an icon of loyalty to what was close to his heart.

There are quite a few of the Saratoga Springs School district's structures that are named for certain influential teachers and administrators, all who have or had an impact on the district. For example, the former Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John MacFadden, has his name on the administrative building located on the high school complex - a well-deserved commendation. There is the Gary Loewenberg auditorium, which is formerly the junior high school and now part of the revamped high school complex He was the superintendent who hired me. During his tenure, he initiated the construction of the former junior high school, which in its day was a state of the art facility. There are also two auditoriums in the district named for former music department teachers and administrators named after Robert Meade. The middle school auditorium is named after the Trombleys, both former music teachers and administrators. Henry Trombley was a former Board of Education member and president and his wife, Alayne, was a teacher. Both of them gave much time and dedication during their lives to the children in the district for music education. All of these facilities were named after people who had a positive impact on the district, just like Coach Waldron.

What do you think? Do you agree with my many Facebook friends from the area who feel that it's a no-brainer to name the athletic complex in honor of Raymond Waldron? If you live here, you can’t think back to Ray Waldron's time in sports and community functions and disagree that his name needs to be stamped on that facility. What needs to be done? Is it necessary to have a petition? Make your feelings known to our district and to the Board of Education regarding this order of business. I'm sure they would appreciate public input. You know how I feel and I will bet there are many more who feel as I do having known Ray over the years.

A Saratoga community footnote: I would like to express my condolences to Clayton Chubb and his family for the loss of their wife, mother and grandmother, Barb passed away on October 11. Barb and Clayton have been long time Saratoga Springs High School Blue Streaks supporters. For decades they have been involved with all the athletic programs of Saratoga and the different booster clubs. Barb was a retired elementary teacher in the Saratoga School District and she was loved by all, especially her former students. Those of us who know the Chubbs and are familiar with what Barb meant to the district, will miss her. She was especially known for her cakes and cookies, there wasn't a person's birthday she didn't know and she always gave to the kids! She was all heart and with no exaggeration, she loved everyone who she came in contact with. Saratoga will miss you, Barb! We know you will be cheering us all on each season.

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