From generation to generation, football fans from Warren have made their way to Massillon for games against one of Warren G. Harding's classic rivals.
On those trips did you ever notice anything about the surroundings, other than an affinity for the colors orange and black? Did anything stand out?
If you map it just right, you can exit off State Route 21 onto Lillian Gish Street. Not far from there is a road named after David Canary. You might possibly drive over the Tommy Heinrich Bridge and cruise down Paul E. Brown Drive.
Once you leave your vehicle you can stroll by the statue of Paul Brown and take a seat in the stadium named after the legendary high school, college and NFL coach.
On the way to your car after the game you might pass by Bucky Schroeder Field, where the Tigers play their baseball games. There the dugouts are named after Joe Sparma and Mike Hershberger.
After all that you can return to Warren and drive down Market Street, turn left on Elm Road, which will take you to Harding High School, where you won't find much of anything named after a former athlete from our city. On the way there you wouldn't have driven on any streets nor would you have gone over any bridges named after greats from the past.
For some strange reason they don't seem to care much about remembering the past in Warren. Unfortunately, if that thinking continues much longer there eventually won't be anyone in charge that will remember someone like Paul Warfield. Then it will be too late to honor him and others that might be deserving of special mention.
Warfield, a 1960 graduate of Warren G. Harding and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was in attendance earlier this week as part of the Hall of Fame's "Hometown Hall of Famers" program that emphasizes the grassroots upbringings of some of the NFL's greatest players. The honor went to Warren and the high school for providing Warfield with the tools needed to achieve his dreams. The plaque was presented by the Hall of Fame. All that the school system had to do was set up chairs in the gymnasium.
Warfield has too much class to say publicly and even privately that his name should be attached to some symbol so that he'll be remembered to future generations. He was blessed to have reached the heights of pro football and to have been honored for doing so with his induction into the Hall of Fame in 1983, which might be enough to massage his ego.
Isn't it now time to do the right thing? How difficult would it be to put up a statue of Warfield just behind the home side at Mollenkopf Stadium? So you lose a couple of parking spaces.
Down the road at Youngstown State University they have Stambaugh Stadium and Dike Beede Field. In Windham the locals named the basketball floor after Marty Hill, who's still coaching the Bombers. Marty probably figured he'd have to wait until he's old and gray to have the floor named after him, assuming it ever happened.
Warren has produced countless great athletes in all sports. Bill White graduated from Harding and became one of the best first basemen in Major League Baseball. Ross Browner won the Lombardi Trophy and the Maxwell Award at Notre Dame. Mario Manningham made the biggest play for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl last season.
The greatest of them all, without question, is Paul Warfield. Can we finally recognize him in a lasting way? Maybe name the track and field complex after him, or better yet make it the Paul Warfield field at Mollenkopf Stadium.
If not, you might hear someone else say, "You know what. They do it right in Massillon."