Editorial of the Staff: BOE Decision is a fumble

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Maria Comerford

The Pelham varsity football team drives down the field as the sun sets over Glover Complex.

During the past few months, many citizens of Pelham have been engaged in debate over renaming the turf field, part of the Glover Complex, to Anthony Senerchia Jr. Field. In a unanimous 7-0 decision the Pelham Board of Education voted in favor of creating a plaque to honor Mr. Senerchia, but decided against renaming the field. People all around Pelham have struggled to understand the Board’s motivation to refuse to rename the field, since most of the other fields that belong to the Complex ear the names of others who have significantly contributed to the community.

Mr. Senerchia inspired kids not only in the football community, but all around Pelham by demonstrating that one’s passion for what you love can transcend even the toughest of obstacles. His legacy of community service revolved around football. Therefore, it seems only fitting to rename the football field as a conscious and clever way to honor a man of courage who dearly loved his town.

The proposal does not change the name of the Glover Complex, yet offers a similar honor that Joe Solimine and Richie Bell both got, with the renaming of the two baseball fields.

Honoring Senerchia by renaming the field would be memorializing someone who went above and beyond what was asked of him, and who, in his lifetime, served as a role model of courage and tenacity. Additionally, the BOE cited the fact that the turf field is not only used for football. This, however, is inconsequential as Senerchia was not only an inspiration to football players but all Pelham athletes by showing everyone that nothing can stop you from doing what you love.

Anthony Senerchia Jr. passed away in 2017 after living with ALS for fourteen years. Senerchia was a PMHS graduate, and a player on the football team. Senerchia later went on to attend Manhattan College, eventually starting his own construction company. He co-founded Pelham Rec Youth Tackle Football, giving Pelham’s children the opportunity to build sportsmanship, camaraderie, physical strength and agility — the latter two of which would sadly be robbed from him. In spite of this, Senerchia served as the inspiration for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that became popular in the summer of 2014. The challenge raised over one million dollars, heightened awareness about ALS, and inspired more research.

Instead of renaming the field, the Board of Education has decided to install a plaque at a ceremony this spring to illustrate the importance and impact Senerchia had on the community. While this is a nice gesture it does not equate to renaming the field, which is a decision we hope they will reconsider. There is a bitter irony that for a school that was built as a memorial to those who gave their lives for their community, the board is being stubborn about honoring one more of its own.