Alumni Field – the old Marshall County High School football field where so much Wildcat history was made over the years – is looking spiffy once again. And more work is still to come on the facility.
Jeff Baucom, who is over the Guntersville Youth Football League, and other volunteers have been working overtime painting, pressure washing and doing other work to freshen up the facility.
A negative post on social media earlier this year that had some political overtones led to the push to get things looking good again.
“It was bad,” Baucom said. “But something really good came out of it.”
The paint had faded on the concession building and the Wildcat red had faded to a purplish hue. Now it sports a new coat of red and white paint and a new feature, a Wildcat Wall of Fame to honor players and coaches who’ve used the field over the years.
The first names on the wall are Ray LeCroy, who was a blocker for his cousin, Wildcat great Melton LeCroy, back in the day, along with Jordan Bentley. Before he became a Wildcat and then an Alabama A&M great, Bentley tore up Alumni Field as a youth football player. It was obvious even then that he was something special.
Baucom said so much good has come out of the situation. The Guntersville Youth Football League now has a terrific working relationship with the City School Board. The two entities are partnering on many of the improvements at the stadium. The day we visited, Baucom and Schools of Guntersville maintenance director Jeff Mims were meeting to talk about future improvements, including fencing to secure the entire facility.
Ross-Graden has donated paint for the project. And the Guntersville Electric Board heard about the utilities cost and changed the way it bills the peewee league for power.
“We were being billed at the industrial rate,” Baucom said. “Now, we are being billed as an athletic field.”
It’s expected to save the youth league thousands of dollars in the future.
“It has just been amazing,” Baucom said.
Wes Long himself power washed at the stadium for several hours, then had a helper lined up to take over for him when he had to leave.
“I can’t say enough about the School Board and the Electric Board,” Baucom said. “Everyone has just been so kind.”
Baucom loves the old field and his youngest son Grey ensures he will be involved with Guntersville youth football for several years to come (his other son Royce is now a varsity Wildcat).
“It’s the history of it,” Baucom said of Alumni Field. “So many great players have played here. I like to go back and read about the old teams. I can’t get enough of it.”
Anyone wanting to honor or memorialize a former player who played on the field can add their name to the Wall of Fame for a $50 donation to the Guntersville Youth Football League. You can call Baucom for details at 256-302-6575.