Vidalia football stadium named after long-time head coach

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

The Natchez Democrat

VIDALIA, La. &045;&160;He was blindsided.

The entire student body, teachers, administrators, school board members and media were there, and Dee Faircloth didn’t even know what it was about &045;&160;just as well, he might not have come if he had known.

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In a ceremony Wednesday morning at Vidalia High School, Viking Stadium was renamed in honor of Vidalia head football coach Dee Faircloth, a 37-year veteran of the school and team.

&uot;If you know Coach Faircloth, he’s so humble. If had had found out about this, he wouldn’t have been here,&uot; Vidalia principal Rick Brown.

Fortunately, all involved, including Faircloth’s wife Dot, conspired to keep him in the dark.

&uot;This was a complete surprise,&uot; Faircloth said.

Concordia Parish school board member Jerry Roberts presented Faircloth with a sign proclaiming the new name of Vidalia’s field, previously known as Viking Stadium. The first event for Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium will be Friday night’s game between Farmerville and Vidalia.

But Friday will also be special for a different reason. At the ceremony, Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland presented Faircloth with a plaque and read a proclamation making Friday, Oct. 7, Coach Dee Faircloth day in Vidalia.

&uot;I guess this is appropriate for a coach that’s spent most of his life out on that field,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;It’s probably not deserved, but it quite an honor Š It’s something that will live with me until the day I die.&uot;

Faircloth said he had never intended to stay in Vidalia for his entire coaching career, but one thing kept him from leaving.

&uot;I’ve had some of the best kids come through this high school,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;I guess that’s why I stayed here so long instead of going somewhere else.&uot;

Concordia Parish School District Superintendent Kerry Laster said Faircloth’s commitment to the school was amazing.

&uot;There are not many places with a person who dedicates 37 years of their life to a place like this,&uot; Laster said.

In that time, Faircloth has amassed 208 victories, had two 10-0 regular seasons, in 2002 and 2003, and numerous playoff appearances.

But more important than that have been the students he’s worked with.

&uot;If I tried to tell you every child whose life Dee Faircloth had touched over the years we’d be here all day,&uot; Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell said.

Having stadiums named after you is fast becoming a Faircloth tradition. Dalton G. Faircloth Stadium in DeQuincy, La., is named after Dee’s father.

Faircloth said he really did almost miss the ceremony.

&uot;When you get to be 61, it’s tough to make more than four days a week,&uot; Faircloth joked.

&uot;I wouldn’t have let you not come,&uot; Dot Faircloth said. &uot;I would have made something up for you to do here.&uot;