Community aims to name stadium after soldier

Community aims to name stadium after soldier

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by KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on September 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 30 at 11:10 AM

BEAVERTON -- Family and friends want to change the name of the field at Southridge High School to honor Andrew Keller, a 22-year-old soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in August when his unit was attacked.

For the field to be named for Keller, the Beaverton school board would have to change a 24-year-old policy that forbids giving school facilities separate names—a policy that was just readopted in July.

Gerry Ingalls was there a week ago watching Andrew’s Keller’s parents as Southridge football retired number 13. Keller wore the number as a stand out on the field, as MVP and as team captain.

Ingalls supports whole heartedly the move to rename the football facility “Andrew Keller Memorial Field.”

A Facebook page is also being used to organize the effort has more than five thousand supporters. Posts ask people to join a letter writing campaign aimed at the Beaverton school board.

"We've had people in the past ask to have different facilities named and we've denied that I think we have to be very thoughtful and the board is going to take their time to look at this," said Maureen Wheeler with the Beaverton school district.

The issue of renaming the stadium is now in the hands of a school board committee and a decision is likely at least two months away.

Andrew’s dad testified before the board this week. He said he's not Facebook savvy but he's never seen the community come together like this.

Board members may consider what other districts have done in the past. They will likely look to Sherwood high school where the football stadium there was renamed in 2004 to honor Aaron Contreras who was killed in Iraq.

KGW 's Cathy Marshall contributed to this report.

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