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OUR VIEW: Lanett did the right thing, honoring Coach Carter now instead of later

There’s been a lot to celebrate for the Lanett High School athletic program after the last few weeks.

Not only did the Panthers’ football game win the state championship, the basketball team just held a celebration for head coach Richard Carter, who has had an incredible career more than 49 years of coaching.

Carter has coached several players who went on to play professional sports, and he’s nearing 700 career victories. He also led the Lanett basketball program to the state championship in 2016.

We’re glad Lanett took the time to do this now, during Carter’s final year on the sideline. (He said he’s retiring after the year.)

Unfortunately, many of these court or field naming ceremonies happen after a person passes away.

Carter is still in good health and still coaching, and it’s clear how much he’s done for Lanett High School, so naming the court after him now was the right thing to do.

“I’m speechless. I really don’t know what to say because something I’d never envisioned happening to me in my life,” Carter said. “It happens to people after death, not while living and so to have something of this nature to happen to you by your yet alive. Oh man, it means so much.”

We’re sure Panthers’ fans will enjoy the final few years of Carter’s coaching career.

We wish him luck as he finishes off an incredible run.

Another championship would be a fitting end to a legendary career, though its not needed to cement his status.

“Today, we are dedicating this court in his honor, but his legacy will live on far beyond this court,” said Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy. “It will live on with each and every one of you, who have had the opportunity to been influenced by him. That is probably one of the greatest attributes that a coach, a teacher, a mentor will ever have an individual.”

We couldn’t agree more with McCoy. This is a great honor for Carter, and it was well earned.