Tom Brown wants to see a sign on the edge of town listing the state championships Grand County High School has earned.
“It is a neat thing for our community to recognize the state championship we’ve received,” Brown said. “It’s great advertising for people driving into town, it gives a lot of recognition to our community.”
Brown grew up in the Midwest. Every time he drives into his hometown of Washington, Iowa he sees a sign celebrating the school’s achievement.
“Growing up in the Midwest, almost every town recognizes their state championship,” Brown said.
The former Grand County High School principal has been pushing for the sign for a year and a half now. He worked with architect Jim Dresslar to design a 15-foot tall sign that would be able to withstand wind shears. He’s acquired a spot on private property to erect the sign.
And he’s already raised $1200 of the $4000 needed to build it.
“We have bank account,” Brown said. “Anyone who wants to donate can write a check and give it to Libby Vaccaro (financial clerk) at the high school. It’s a tax-deductable.”
Brown met with Utah Department of Transportation officials. He was told that the sign can be erected as long as it is off the state’s right of way, but due to the fact it is along Highway 191, no advertising sponsors are allowed.
Randy Day found a spot for the sign north of Anasazi Realty near the north entrance of Moab. Day is the “Voice of the Red Devils” and narrates the football, boy’s basketball and baseball games for KCYN 97.1 FM. He’s also a Grand County High School Alumni.
“It’s a great idea. We need to put those accomplishments out there. State records are a big deal,” Day said. “It promotes our kids. I’d rather have a sign there than anything else.”
Grand County High School now holds 25 titles: Six in debate, four in baseball, five in softball, three in boy’s golf, one in football, one in basketball, one in boy’s track, two in girl’s track and one in volleyball.
A few of those titles were earned when Brown was the high school principal between the years 2001-2007, including three debate state championships and the school’s only football state championship.
“The debate team had already been established as a successful program,” Brown said. “Hal Adams did a wonderful job as the debate coach. It was amazing how he motivated kids. It’s a wonderful program. I didn’t know anything about debate until I was principal. I was just so impressed with our kids, to be able to think on their feet and do research. I saw kids rise above what they otherwise would have done.”
He described the football championship season as “storybook.”
“Starting off a year with a championship football team improved the school climate,” Brown said. “Kirby Smith coming down with childhood leukemia – what a great motivator he was for the team. And Zane Taylor blocked the punt and got the goal with only a couple minutes left in the game. There were so many stories that were inspirational to me.”
State championship teams are honored after a win with a ride into town on a fire engine.
“Every time there is a state championship [fire chief] Corky [Brewer] meets the team at the bridge and brings them into the community,” Brown said. “Sometimes it is midnight and fire sirens are going off.”