Walpole Gymnasium to Receive New Championship Banner Designs


David Moser

 For years, every championship team in Walpole has had their place on the walls of the gym; however, this year, Athletic Director Ron Dowd led an effort to take down and replace each banner.

Dowd originally took down the banners to allow the walls of the gym to be repainted. The walls remain white, except for a new  orange stripe along the two walls behind each end line.

  While the banners were down, already ongoing talks between Dowd and alumni to replace the banners increased. As of now, alumni will be raising the money for new banners, and depending on how much money is raised, a specific amount of banners will be ordered. The hope is for 27 new banners—designed to save space and recognize as many championship years as possible—but it depends on what can be afforded.

“There was just no room. We were running out of room,” said Athletic Director Ron Dowd. “I wanted a neater look.”

  Walpole’s sports programs are largely successful, and with all this success comes the problem of finding space for banners in the gym. Whenever a team won either a sectional, divisional or state championship, that team would receive a banner to commemorate the job well done. The problem with this system is that overtime, the amount of banners would add up, and space is limited. Here is where the new banner designs come in, for they will condense all the championship years into one banner, while also leaving room for all the championship victories to come.

  As portrayed in the featured imageabove, a possible design option, each team will have a banner. On each banner, there are three different sections. The first is for each year a team wins a league championship; the second is for each year a team wins a sectional championship; the third is for each year a team wins a state championship. In the end, all of the banners will be replaced with these new displays.

   In addition to the new banners, there is also a change in location of a few teams’ banners—specifically Boys and Girls Ice Hockey and Girls Volleyball. The idea behind the move is to put them at each team’s home rink or court, while also crearing more space in the gym. Both Walpole Boys and Girls Ice Hockey will have their championship banners moved to Rodman Arena, while Walpole Volleyball’s will be moved to Elm Street School.

  “It’s going to cost money in the long run, but boosters and alumni will help fund the cost,” added Dowd. “If we look back or someone calls us about their championship, we just have to add years. It’s really simple.”

  To find all the years any sport won a championship, Dowd will be looking back in the record books as far back as 1962—when Walpole was still the Hilltoppers. Despite this difference in name, championship years will still be reported, and all will fall under the name Rebels.

Even though specific banners will be replaced, each championship team’s contributions to Walpole High School’s success will not be forgotten. Each team’s history will continue to be displayed, but in a new, concise and condensed fashion.