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More than 1,700 petition to name Smithsburg athletic field for Reid

October 22, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

SMITHSBURG -- More than 1,700 people have signed a petition to have Smithsburg High School's athletic field named in honor of Coach Carroll Reid Jr. - the founder of the school's football program.

Brian Smith, a 1990 graduate of Smithsburg, asked the Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday to consider naming the football field after Reid. The board voted to allow a 30-day period for people to make comments on the proposal before it is considered.

Reid came to Smithsburg in 1967 and became a "football icon" in Maryland. Reid remained at Smithsburg until his retirement in 1997.

With Reid as their coach, the Smithsburg football team won 207 games, and his teams won state championships in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1994, Smith said.

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Though only three-quarters of the school's student population of 844 was required to sign the petition for the name change, under board policy, 1,736 signatures were received, Smith said.

Smith said that many students talk about Reid as being like a father figure. Smith read a letter from a woman who named her child after Reid.

Reid was honored during Smithsburg's home football game on Oct. 10, and Smith said alumni traveled from as far away as Florida and Texas to celebrate Reid's career. The impact he had on students was incredible, Smith said.

Another proposal to rename a Washington County Public Schools facility was brought forward Tuesday.

Board Member Paul W. Bailey requested that the Fairview Outdoor Education Center be renamed in honor of Claud E. Kitchens, Washington County Public Schools superintendent from 1973 to 1986.

Bailey said the Fairview center was built during Kitchens' tenure, along with many other county schools.

The board voted to allow a 30-day comment period for the public before considering the change.

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