Saturday, October 20, 2007

Semiprofessional sports hall of fame in Watertown?

Semiprofessional sports hall of fame in Watertown?
Updated: 10/20/2007 12:51:01 PM
By: Brian Dwyer

With every touchdown run, Watertown's semi-professional football team, the Red & Black, makes history. It's the oldest semi-pro team in the nation, having started all the way back in 1896.

But it's not just football. Semi-pro baseball in Watertown has been dated back to 1874.

And now, the city is hoping to honor those teams and every other semi-pro team in the nation since, with something this country doesn't have... A semi-professional sports hall of fame.

"Growing up here, I've always been a big fan of the Red & Black and followed them." Watertown City Councilman Tim LaBouf said. "I think it's time that we really honor them and showcase all of their talent and achievements."

"To let people that come downtown be able to step in out of the weather or whatever and be able to see really everything, I think it's awesome." Red & Black Head Coach George Ashcraft said.

But this isn't just about semi-pro teams. The hall would also include local teams like the Watertown Wizards College Baseball Team, other local college teams, and even area high schools.

"I've taken a look at other cities around New York State that have high school hall of fames." Watertown Wizards President Paul Simmons said. "I think it's time to showcase what our kids have done."

"I just really believe this is not only going to help honor and showcase the talent we have in our community, and have had had over the years, but it's also going to create a destination." LaBouf added.

As for where it'll go? Well if it's about history, why not one of the most historic places in the city, here at the Paddock Arcade.

The arcade's owner, Don Coon, has already agreed to donate space for the hall.

LaBouf hopes to have the hall finished by next year. There's plans for a grand opening ceremony, with national representatives once the building is complete.

More Information
Semi-professional Sports Hall of Fame

No tradition is bigger than that of Watertown's semi-pro football team, the Red & Black. That team is the oldest of its kind in the country dating back to 1896.

Copyright © 2007 TWEAN d.b.a. News 10 Now

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