To the Editor,
Clarksdale High School will soon begin construction on a new football stadium that will be located adjacent to the school for the first time in history.
After much thought, I have recommended to the board of the Clarksdale Municipal School District that this stadium and field be named after two fine men who have been a big part of not only Clarksdale High School, but also have represented the district well for many generations.
I recommend the football stadium be named after Dr. Robert Ellard.
He came to Clarksdale in 1966, serving as high school principal for five years and, in 1972, became superintendent of the Clarksdale Municipal School District. He spent 20 years overseeing many changes and improvements made within our school system, including integration.
Even after his retirement in 1992, Dr. Ellard continued to support the district, being found at many educational and athletic events. He also served two terms on the school board, continuing to be a part of improving our school district.
I recommend the football field be named after Coach Jesse Murphree.
Jesse is a 1968 graduate of Clarksdale High School, where he was an outstanding athlete on the football field. After his college football career and various coaching positions, he returned to Clarksdale High School in 1993 to be named head football coach and during the following eight seasons he won six district championships, five North Mississippi championships and three 4-A state titles.
Those accomplishments speak volumes for itself, but more importantly, he is a true gentleman that puts his heart and soul into Clarksdale High School.
In my opinion, there is no one (and I mean no one) more deserving of this honor than Dr. Ellard and Coach Murphree. Naming our stadium and field after these two fine gentlemen is simply the right thing to do.
I have talked with several school board members regarding my recommendations and encourage you to do the same. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at 662-902-3472.
Michael A. Jacob
Clarksdale High School class of 1968