General Glover step down; Pelham Board of Education, step up

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General Glover step down; Pelham Board of Education, step up

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Pelham is a town with a storied history, featuring many figures who have had an outsized impact both on the town itself, and in some cases, on the nation as a whole. And throughout its history, Pelham has never shied away from honoring those heroes. From Joe Solimine Sr. Field, to the General Glover Field Complex, to Michael Schwerner Way, to the Richard J. Daronco Town House, we have enshrined our legends in a wide variety of ways. Anthony Senerchia Jr. more than deserves to be the next Pelham great honored in our town.

(Glover is named for John Glover, a Revolutionary War general who led 750 Colonial troops against 4,000 British soldiers at the Battle of Pell’s Point somewhere in what is now Pelham Bay Park. Glover had his men use guerilla tactics to slow the British advance, allowing General George Washington to escape from Manhattan and saving the Continental Army.)

First let’s realize the sheer impact that Senerchia had, both on our town and on people across the nation. After his high school football career and his return to Pelham, he began to donate a majority of his free time to youth football, helping usher in a new era of Pelham football players. Even following his diagnosis with ALS, he continued coaching and contributing tremendously to youth football, instilling values and morals on those he coached, and teaching them to help others. Outside of football, alongside his family and others suffering from ALS, he helped create the internet sensation that would eventually become the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This helped to raise more than $200 million for his cause, and, more intangibly, a tremendous amount of awareness for people struggling with and research concerning ALS.

Second, it’s clear to see that renaming the turf field in the Glover Complex is both the most simple and elegant solution to honoring Senerchia. In Pelham, Senerchia is a figure who is intrinsically related to the football program, and to Glover Field. Since his days as a kid in the Pelham community, he represented the Pelham football program on the field and on the sidelines, and after graduating helped found the Pelham youth football league. Through this and his other volunteer work surrounding Pelham football, he had a massive impact on Pelham football players, spanning a large period of time. By renaming the field, we reflect on the connection and amazing impact Senerchia had on the sport in Pelham, and on literally hundreds, if not thousands, of athletes in the town and in the area.

The long wait since the renaming idea came together seemed to be coming to an end in April, when massive turnout in a Pelham Board of Education meeting showed the overwhelming support for renaming among both the students and the town as a whole. Since then, we’ve seen continuous dithering and in some cases, acts of bad faith coming from the board. From the arguable violations of New York State Open Meeting Laws by not holding their discussions in public, but instead holding them among members in private, to board President DeDomenico’s actual admission about the board’s suggestion for a commemorative resolution and plaque: We “fully recognize that this idea we’re tossing out falls short of what many people hoped would be the outcome.” The board is flying in the face of doing the right thing. But there’s still time to work to convince them.

I never had the privilege of knowing Senerchia myself. But just by talking to any one of the countless people whose lives he touched through his tremendous heart and constant volunteer activities, it is abundantly clear that he is a man who is fully deserving of the highest honors we can give. To many, Pelham’s football program is inherently attached to Senerchia’s name and his number 44. Renaming the field will make sure that Senerchia is recognized not just by many as a Pelham great, but by all, and will stand as a lasting tribute for all that he meant for this town and its youth.

The Pelham school board president has previously announced that the board will reveal their final decision at the regular meeting on Jan. 29. I urge all of you to fight for the renaming in any way possible—social media, attending meetings, writing letters and petitions. Let’s give Anthony the recognition he deserves.

Click here to sign the petition to change the name.