The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


July 12, 2014

Officially for the record

GREENVILLE — Two former Greenville schools are now officially recognized for their accomplishments in sports through new signage at the T. A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium.

The records of Booker T. Washington and Carver High Golden Tigers teams, the old segregated schools in Greenville, now have their records alongside the Greenville High School records at the stadium.

According to Greenville Independent School District Superintendent Don Jefferies, the signs are a result of hard work from members of the community.

“Dan Perkins and Kim Butcher talked to me last fall about collecting the Booker T. Washington and Carver high football records because they had some outstanding football accomplishments,” he said. “Ralph Sanders and Heath Jarvis had good contacts for former teammates.”

Jefferies tasked Jarvis and Sanders with compiling records from library and high school records, and from members of the community who played on the teams who kept scrapbooks of their records.

“They did a pretty extensive background check on it,” he said. “Because the schools were segregated, they had to go through other records.”

Although it took time and hard work, Jefferies said the research was worth it because they were honoring the students who played for those two teams.

“It was a worthy project and needed to be done,” he said. “Those are Greenville kids. Those are Greenville citizens. We’re much stronger with a diverse population than a single one.”

Former Director of Community Services for Greenville ISD Kelli Tharp began getting the information set up for the signs, and when she left, Jefferies said Sydney Phillips followed up on the project.

Once all the information was put on the signs, James Olenski, director of maintenance, for Greenville ISD, installed the signs at the field.

Jefferies said the credit lies with the people who put in the time and effort to recognize the students of those two schools.

“I don’t really deserve any of the credit,” he said. “I just said ‘let’s get this thing done.’”

Place 1 City Councilman Dan Perkins said he was glad to see the district recognize the teams, who are a storied part of Greenville’s past.

“I am deeply appreciative of the Greenville Independent School District and their recognition of two outstanding high schools with proud football histories,” he said.

According to Jefferies, there was no question as to where the placement of the signs should go.

“Where best to put it than beside the other records at Greenville?” he said.

Jefferies would also like to thank David Gish and Marvin Sedberry among others who helped with the project.

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