To The Editor:
It was indeed heartening to read in the paper that the strong recommendations of Dr. Wood and one of Jim Scanlan’s daughters had persuaded the school board to name the new athletic complex in the legendary Mr. Scanlan’s honor. It is altogether fitting and proper for the board to pay this well-deserved tribute to the great man.
Those of us who were fortunate to be his contemporary staff members well remember the year when the “Kirksville Gang” — Jim Scanlan, John Carter and Ray Eickmeyer — came to town to become the football coaching staff at WHS. All three came to us from the same training university, which was really something back in those days.
It did not take long for both the school and the community to find out the coming of this highly talented coaching trio was certainly a most fortuitous event, as they turned out championship teams year in and year out at WHS throughout their tenure. One might say they were the “A Team” of high school coaches in this area at that time, as their teams consistently amassed records that most coaches could only dream about.
Head Coach Scanlan and his two very capable assistants were so gifted that they had a knack for bringing out the very best efforts of each and every aspiring young athlete who went out for football.
Having these fine young athletes in class was also a joy to the teachers, as we could see their pride and enhanced self-esteem on display as they proudly wore their football jerseys in all their classes on game days and behaved in exemplary fashion at all times.
The contributions of these three coaches — all very personable and down-to-earth fellows — added immeasurably to really make their years at the coaching helm a veritable and memorable “Golden Age” for WHS in general.
Our hats are off to you gentlemen and to all your outstanding alumni football players. We thank you for making us all very proud of our school and our community.