The late Anthony Senerchia Jr., a PMHS alumni and Pelham resident, changed lives not only in Pelham through his influential football coaching but also across the country by inspiring the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which raised millions of dollars for ALS research. Because of the impact that Senerchia had on the Pelham community, many residents felt it appropriate to commemorate him in a lasting way. Renaming Glover Field the Anthony Senerchia Jr. Field has been the idea at the forefront of this discussion. After being one of the founders of Pelham Youth Football, battling ALS for fourteen years, and being a positive contributing community member, Pelham residents feel that renaming the field where the football team plays is an apt commemoration. Despite over a thousand signatures in support of renaming the field and many exchanges from the Senerchia family to the Board of Education, the request was turned down. At the Board of Education meeting held on December 18, many took a stand against the verdict that turned down the renaming of the field.
Showing strength in numbers, many attended the meeting to gain an understanding of why the request to rename the field was denied without a vote. The Board Of Education (BOE) provided reasons which were expounded upon by President Jessica DeDomenico.
The BOE explained that the field’s current name, Glover Field, commemorates an important general for the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War, John Glover, who led a crucial battle within Pelham. The Board believes that this name should remain to honor his efforts. Besides Glover, other fields in Pelham are also named after historical figures, including Ingalls Field and Franklin Field. …..Another reason the Board decided against renaming the field after Senerchia is because they wanted to consider other candidates worthy of the honor.
Another point brought up by the Board was that there isn’t a field in Pelham that is named after an influential woman. Seeing as how nearly all of Pelham’s fields are named after important men, they believe that it is high time that one of them should be named after a woman.
Despite the reasons that the BOE presented, they also stated that there is no disagreement in wanting to honor Anthony Senerchia Jr., but they believe there are other ways to do so. Instead of renaming the field, they proposed that there be some sort of symbol on the field to honor him. Currently, the number 44 can be seen at the halfway mark on the sideline of Glover. The BOE hopes that this could be a permanent and visible remembrance of his achievements while retaining the original name of the field.
Despite the Board’s desire for a middle ground option, many residents of Pelham, especially members of Pelham Booster Club, and those involved in Pelham Athletics, are persistent in their fight to give Anthony Senerchia Jr. the honor and recognition they believe he deserves.
…..A strong opinion voiced was that without Senerchia, the Pelham Football program would be nothing near what it is today. Some of those who got up and spoke included Joe Senerchia, Brian Valente, Nick Milanese, and James Loria.
James Loria, a board member and youth football coach, came to the meeting to represent the Pelham Booster Club and Senerchia family.
“I am here to express that on behalf of the booster club, Pelham Rec Youth Tackle Football, the Pelham community, and most importantly the Senerchia family, we are most disappointed and dissatisfied with the way this has been handled,” Loria said.
Senerchia touched the lives of many, and his impact on the community and the children he coached was deemed immeasurable by Loria. Additionally, Senerchia’s battle with ALS, and inspiration for the ALS Ice Bucket challenge which turned out to be a nationwide success, caused many to think that Senerchia should be honored for the impact he had not only on the Pelham Football program but also his impact on the quest to find a cure for ALS.
On January 29, 2020, the BOE came to a decision with a 7-0 vote. The renaming of the field was voted down Anthony Senerchia Jr. will be honored by giving his family a plaque and in the future placing one at Glover.