A brand new scoreboard stands at the far end of Parkville High School's football field—a boon for the Knights and their visitors.
However, the scoreboard, which was erected earlier this school year, has angered some Parkville alums because it doesn't display the name of former football head coach Joseph Yates.
They say a former principal said that it would.
Parkville-Overlea Patch first caught wind of the story through the Facebook group "You Know You're From Parkville, Md When ... " where Bobby Gartside, a Parkville High alum and former football player, posted the following:
"The new scoreboard has been installed at Parkville High School. The Alumni was told that 'Yates Field' would be on it. It is not. In fact 'Parkville High School' is overshadowed by the Corporate ad's of a Credit Union, 2 Nursing Homes, Jerry's Auto Group, The Mars Store, White Marsh Mall and last and not least 'Gino's."
Parkville High School named its field in honor of former football coach back in 2009 after a campaign launched by Gartside and Yates' widow, Edmonia.
Yates was the first black head coach in Baltimore County Public Schools.
"I was one of his players and students, I figured all the stuff he’s done in his lifetime he deserves to have his name up there," Gartside said in a telephone interview with Patch.
Gartside explained that when the field was dedicated, now-former principal Stephen Edgar told Patuxent Publishing reporter Jay Thompson that "Later, when the money is available, the school will install Yates’ name on the scoreboard at the very least."
Gartside took Edgar's statement to heart and is now asking for help from area legislators and other Parkville High School alumni to ensure that his former coach's name is proudly displayed.
Current Parkville High School athletic director Jeff Markle told Patch that sponsors whose names and logos appear on the scoreboard covered the entire cost of the project and that there was no other way to get the scoreboard built.
"The athletic department simply couldn't afford a new scoreboard," Markle said.
Markle said that there is, however, a sign dedicating the field in Yates' honor hanging on a building that visitors to the field must walk past.
"It was earlier this year, probably around the second football game that I got it hung," Markle said. "We raised $500 and hung the sign on a well-placed, permanent structure."
Markle said he didn't think that it should be an issue whether the sign honoring Yates was placed on the scoreboard or in a place that "everyone will walk by."
The athletic director also told Patch that he had not been in contact with Gartside or Edmonia Yates about the scoreboard.
Markle also said that he would not be opposed to placing Yates' name on the scoreboard, but he wasn't sure how it would play with county regulations; in order to accomodate Yates' name the scoreboard would have to be made larger.
"I don't know how all that works," Markle said.
Charles Herndon, a spokesman for Baltimore County Public Schools, told Patch that, in his view, this is an issue to be resolved at the local level, between the school and those petitioning for the change and that he hoped "all sides would work to reach an agreeable solution."