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Valley High press box to be named after Yates

LaFAYETTE — The late Heston Yates will be getting some recognition of his long-time support of Valley High athletics. Yates, who died on June 22, was the school’s stadium announcer for more than 40 years. He started out at the old stadium behind the high school and continued on through the 2018  home season at the new Ram Stadium near the Sportsplex. At an undetermined date this fall, the press box will be named in his memory.

On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Jason Etherton of the VHS Athletic Club approached the Chambers County Board of Education with the idea.

“I am asking for your permission and your blessings to do this,” he said. “The booster club would like to put a bronze plaque at the stadium with his image on it, commending him for being the stadium announcer for more than 40 years.”

Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge and members of the board liked the idea.

“He was very supportive of our band program too,” Hodge said. “Some of his kids were in the band, and he drove a band bus to many out-of-town events.”

Etherton said the booster club would like to have a pre-game ceremony some time this coming football season for the formal naming.

“We’d like for it to be a game where we had a big crowd and for his family to be there,” he said.

“Let us know when you are going to do it,” said board member Mary Terry. “We want to make sure we are there. This is an appropriate way to honor him.”

“I do have one regret,” said Dr. Etherton. “I wish we had done this when he was still living.”