Not too many people can say they’ve had a stadium named after them, and the few that can normally aren’t alive to see it, but that’s how big of an impact Jerry Burton had on Northwood High.
“Jerry Burton was instrumental in so many lives,” said Northwood High School Head Football Coach Jim Gatlin.
After Coach Burtons passing, Coach Gatlin along with his staff and a group of administrators wanted to once again use him as inspiration.
“We’re going to dedicate the stadium to him. We'll name it Jerry Burton Memorial Stadium that way it will always be that way. Even in his passing, he’s still helping Northwood,” said Coach Gatlin.
With the rededication they plan on getting a new scoreboard. Decked out in Texas Orange. They hope that snowballs into an upgrade to the stadium itself. A stadium that was built by the hands of community members.
“If you knew Coach Burton a painted room, or an upgraded helmet, or a new uniform top, would probably be the last on his list. He was old school. The home side press box is huge, there are some angles that coaches can’t even see the end zone that we’ve got to work on. Down the road maybe some power wash and painting of the stadium,” said Coach Gatlin.
Coach Gatlin doesn’t want people to worry about the little stuff. Things like the weight room, the floors, he’s got that under control, but stadium upkeep costs a lot of money, and that’s where they’re hoping to get outside involvement.
”When it comes to the big major projects that are 25-30 thousand dollar projects we might not be able to do that, so that’s where we need the help,” said Coach Gatlin.
This staff hopes upgrades would eventually bring more money to the school to invest in its students, and student athletes. It also serves as a constant reminder of one of the communities most dedicated members.
”We’ve got a saying around here that one of our football players years ago said ‘hey it’s a good day to be a Falcon’ and that’s sort of our attitude and what we’re going to do. It’s a good day to be a Falcon,” said Coach Gatlin 6:48 “I think we’re going in a positive direction, like the saying goes it’s a good day to be a Falcon,” said Coach Gatlin.
If you'd like to donate money, or find out more information on how you can help Northwood High School upgrade their facilities email Coach Gatlin at JPGatlin@caddo.k12.la.us