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first_img“He has done so much for the football program at Canyon and brought so much recognition to this community and the city of Santa Clarita,” said Ken Wheeler, who worked on the committee. But for many, Welch’s accomplishments go beyond his work on the AstroTurf field. “The bottom line is he’s a great teacher, not just in football but in life,” said Joe Zacharia, a defensive lineman for the Canyon Cowboys. “He taught me how to be a good man.” Still, the decision didn’t come without debate. Coach Cesar Arevalo faulted the Hart district for failing to publicize the stadium decision on the agenda. CANYON COUNTRY – Having put Santa Clarita on the sports map with a state football championship, Harry Welch will see his own name put on a map, as well. The Hart High School District board voted unanimously Wednesday night to name the newly remodeled Canyon High football stadium for the veteran educator and legendary coach. “When you quantify the number of kids Welch has touched in 37 years times the population of students at Canyon High, I think that warrants the naming of that stadium after him,” school board member Steve Sturgeon said. After a Daily News blogger suggested naming the remodeled Canyon High stadium for Welch, Canyon Country residents formed a committee to push the idea. It wasn’t long before hundreds of petitions and e-mails started flying. “If more teachers would have known, they would have been here,” Arevalo said. The Welch committee also failed to enlist faculty and staff members in the process, something Arevalo said he thinks could have altered the selection of Welch as the stadium honoree. “There are coaches that have worked longer than Welch, and consecutively,” Arevalo said. But for the majority of former students, team parents, friends and colleagues that crowded the Hart meeting the decision was a “no-brainer.” “As a 5-foot-3-inch, 115-pound football player, I wasn’t exactly the star of the team,” said Dan Garcia, who formerly played for the Cowboys. “But when coach Welch pointed out one of my tackles to the entire football team, that meant the world to me. “You are not just honoring him today, but every player who has ever worn a Cowboy jersey.” [email protected] (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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