By Jeremy Stafford -- firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- It will occur at halftime of a football game. It will comprise some of the best football players Strasburg has ever seen. It will honor one of the best football coaches Virginia has ever seen.
But the naming of Strasburg's football field after former Rams football coach Glenn Proctor will have little to do with the game of football.
"It's a great tribute to what he's done here at Strasburg, and the lives that he's touched over the years since he's been here," current Rams coach Mark Roller said.
Though Proctor resigned in 2007 as the most successful football coach in Strasburg history, Proctor will certainly be remembered as a coach who shaped boys into men, preparing them for life after high school, not just games on Fridays.
And as coach of the Rams for 44 years, Proctor has certainly come into contact with, and helped shaped the lives of, hundreds of local men.
"You go back 44 years of football, 44 years of teaching, athletic director for 42 years," Strasburg athletic director Matt Hiserman explained. "You just think of the, not just one generation of people but two, three, four generations of families that he's been involved with."
The official name will be Glenn Proctor Field at Ram Stadium, and the dedication will take place during halftime of the Page County game on Sept. 25, a fitting game considering Proctor's 300th win came against Page County on Sept. 21, 2007.
In addition to coaching the Rams for 44 years, Proctor also led Strasburg to four state championship games, the last of which came in 1995. Though his first season at Strasburg yielded only a single win, the legendary coach was eventually inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in October 2002.
In short, Proctor is the reason the Strasburg community has such high expectations for its athletics programs; and he's the standard by which all Strasburg coaches are measured.
Aside from Roller, Rams baseball coach Jeff Smoot also played football under Proctor, as did Sherando head football coach Bill Hall, arguably the most successful coach in the area over the past five seasons.
Hiserman said that while the specifics of the ceremony will be ironed out today, he does know that all of Proctor's former players will be invited to accompany him on the field during the dedication.
Jay Neal, a former Ram who starred under Proctor for three years before playing football at Virginia Tech, said that he's foregoing a reunion in Blacksburg to be a part of the celebration in Strasburg.
And while it's possible the field during the ceremony will be littered with an innumerable amount of faces, it's unlikely Proctor won't recognize a single one.
"I don't know how many have played for him; I can tell you he knows every single one that's played for him," Roller said. "I think it is a tribute to the whole community, and the support that they've given to him over the years, in the good times and the bad, he's been a great asset to not only Strasburg High School, but also the Strasburg community."
But while it's been the intention of many in the community to have the field named after Proctor ever since he retired following the 2007 season, the process of getting his name plastered to the press box has been arduous. Only after numerous e-mails from former players and community supporters, like Neal, did the School Board overturn a rule which stated, effectively, that athletic buildings or fields could not be named after anyone employed by the school full-time.
Because Proctor works at Strasburg part-time as a teacher and track and field coach, Strasburg is free to name the football field after him.
One thing is for sure, though: The naming of the field at Ram Stadium after Proctor won't be the reason the community remembers the legacy of the Hall of Fame coach.
"When people speak of Strasburg athletics, Glenn Proctor's name is that first that comes out of people's mouths," Hiserman said. "Has been for 45 years now, and will be for a long, long time. It's not just really Strasburg athletics, but just Virginia high school athletics across the board."