A good board decision
We were pleased to see the Baldwin School Board finally made a decision to name the sports fields around Baldwin High School the Merle Venable Sports Complex. It was the right thing to do.
Venable is the nearest there is in Baldwin City to a legendary sports figure and was deserving of the honor. Starting in the 1960s, Venable turned the BHS program into a state football power. He wasn’t just known here, he was known throughout the state.
That’s what state titles and state-title appearances will do. He guided one team to the state title and two others to the runner-up spot. But he also coached the best team never to win a state title in 1968 when there wasn’t a title game. That team went undefeated and outscored its opponents by 300 points.
The idea to name the complex after him was first brought up to the board months ago. However, it got bogged down by some people who wanted to make too much out of a policy that really didn’t need that much thought. Suggestions were many on how to restrict and define such a process. That wasn’t needed.
All that was needed, and was ultimately the decision, was that such honors would be determined on a case-by-case basis by the school board. That’s what should have been done.
And in the case of Merle Venable, the honor is warranted.