To the editor:
Recent discussions about renaming the Bresnahan School brings to mind another individual who deserves to be on city property, specifically World War Memorial Stadium. James Stehlin was instrumental in turning around Newburyport football. Prior to his arrival, the football program was mired in losing season after losing season with the exceptions of 1955, 1956 and 1960. At the time of his arrival the downtown area was in its initial stages. It seemed that the new vibrancy of football infused these efforts with energy and pride. Attendance at games went from a thousand to six or eight thousand to over 10,000 at the Newburyport/Swampscott game in 1966.
All one has to do is visit the Park Lunch to see the photos of players and winning teams that are a result of Stehlin’s influence on Newburyport athletics. This tradition of excellence continues today as many of the more recent coaches such as Bill Pettingill were brought here by Stehlin.
We can think of no individual more deserving of having the football field at World War Memorial Stadium named for him than James T. Stehlin. He was once our coach and is still our hero.
Robert “Bino” Earabino