The accomplishments of former Paris High School athletes may soon find a home in the new school, the Paris Cooperative High School Board learned Monday, May 14.
Paris High School basketball coach Shawn Nugent and athletic director Creighton Tarr presented plans to hang banners in the new gym recognizing all of the school’s sports teams and honoring the rich tradition of the past.
“These will be new vinyl banners, not the banners currently in Eveland Gym,” Nugent explained.
When the school was opened there was thinking by some the athletic banners touting past successes by Paris teams over the years should not be included.
“In addition to providing a facility to educate young men and women, we should want the facility to be a place of great memories and stories of success we can pass along to future generations,” Nugent observed.
He emphasized the banners are also a source of pride for alumni who frequently visit the school by linking the past to the present.
Nugent said in talking to all the school’s present coaches, each felt it is imperative the banners find a place in the school’s gym.
“Banners for each sport help to maintain and build tradition and motivation,” he said. “Banners are a symbol of our community and those who dedicated their time, energy and efforts to sports they loved as a student athlete.”
The new building is beautiful, Nugent said, while noting the foundation of the athletic programs should be honored in the display of banners for those respective programs.
Tarr and Nugent presented a picture of a four-foot by six-foot mock-up for PHS boys basketball. The projected cost of the banner is $185, he said. The banners are expected to be placed on the east and west walls of the gym.
Nugent also presented a mock-up of a state championship banner. There are two boys state championship banners — 1943 and 1947 — and four state cross-country championships from 1946-1950.
In addition, a Little Illini Conference team banner with all the members would be included, Nugent said.
“Just about everyone (schools) has one in their home gyms,” he said.
Board president Steve Eitel expressed concerns whether the proposed lettering listing team years for conference, regional, sectional and super-sectional are large enough to be seen when hung high in the gym. Nugent agreed some measurements need to be made.
The $185 cost of the team banners are to be covered by each sport and the coaches have agreed to this arrangement, Tarr said. The cost of the state banners and the LIC banners — a total of about $1,400 — will be covered by PHS.
There was discussion among those present about how far back in time to include conference champions. Tarr said that will be discussed.
“The problem is that a lot of those old records were lost when Bud Wittick died,” Nugent said.
The banners — if approved — will be purchased from BSN Sports, the school’s primary sport equipment and uniform vendor.