Tonawanda News


September 7, 2013

RICCI: City of Tonawanda wins with new facility


Tonawanda News — Thanks go to the people who championed this project when the seeds were first planted in 2005.

The same people who stood their ground when naysayers said just repair the old stadium. The supporters saw that repairs to the original Small Stadium would be a band-aid on a broken leg. They knew it was time to move forward.

But moving forward wasn’t easy. Especially for the Small family who was understandably worried that Clint would be forgotten.

No chance that the greatest Warrior of them all could ever be forgotten. It was a delicate process to be sure as the city and school district moved forward while still trying to remember its past.

One of the great things about Tonawanda is how it holds tight to its history and respects the past.

As it should be. But we cannot be so tied to where we have been that we lose sight of where we are going.

Those who said don’t move were so wrapped up in what the original Small Stadium used to be. They were unaware that the stadium had simply outlived its use and it was time to move on. When I got wind of a new stadium at the high school project I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t too sure about it.

I thought about my connections to the original Small Stadium. How I lived around the corner from it for years. Sitting outside on crisp fall nights listening to the sounds of football and soccer games. Thinking of the first high school game — THS girls soccer — I ever covered. 

I didn’t want to let go of the past. The original Small Stadium was comfortable. It was home.

It was something you could count on in an ever-changing, sometimes crazy, world. But when I took a hard look I saw it was indeed time to move forward.

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