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Naming fields for Stirgus, Morgan a deserved honor

Among a number of items on the agenda for Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees is a name change for two of Warren County’s most iconic sports venues.

The school board tonight will vote on whether to add the names of James Stirgus, Sr., and Robert Morgan to the football fields at Vicksburg High’s Memorial Stadium and Warren Central’s Viking Stadium, respectively.

If the resolution passes, the venues would become “James Stirgus, Sr. Field at Memorial Stadium” and “Robert Morgan Sr. Field at Vikings Stadium,” similar to the way a number of colleges have renamed their facilities in recent years.

Normally, VWSD policy is to wait until three years after someone has died to name a building or facility for them. A special waiver from the board is required since Stirgus and Morgan, thankfully, are still very much with us — and very deserving of this honor.

Stirgus spent nearly 35 years as a teacher, principal, superintendent and doing various other jobs in Warren County’s education system. He never was a coach, which makes him at first glance an odd choice to have a football field named after him, but certainly understands the importance of athletics in the role of education and is a champion for it.

Morgan, meanwhile, is synonymous with Warren Central. The school opened in 1965. He showed up three years later and never left. In 19 years as its head football coach, he won 168 games, two state titles, and only had one losing season.

Beyond the wins and losses, however, his legacy is enormous. Nearly every student who has ever passed through Warren Central’s halls probably has a Robert Morgan story. His son Josh is now the head coach and his other son Rob is the offensive coordinator.

Robert Morgan officially retired in 2004, but has remained involved with the program as a part-time assistant. Part of the reason for that is obviously to coach with his sons, but if you’ve seen him in recent years it’s just as obvious that he loves the sport and the school.

So, even if it’ll take an extra breath to say the new names, here’s hoping the school board passes this resolution. Both Stirgus and Morgan devoted their lives to making Warren County a better place. Giving their names to a couple of places very near and dear to them is the least we can do to say thank you.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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