NEWARK– Education officials are honoring two well-known figures from Snow Hill High School’s history with the naming of the field and stadium at the facility.
The Worcester County Board of Education voted unanimously last week to officially label the athletic field at Snow Hill High as the Maurice “Moe” Barber Field at Kelly Shumate Stadium. The new moniker is meant to honor Barber, a longtime football coach, and Shumate, the former principal who helped bring football to the school.
“I find these two gentlemen to be two people that we in Worcester County are extremely proud of,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said.
According to Snow Hill High School Principal Kim Purvis, Shumate began his teaching career in Worcester County in 1964 before serving as vice principal and eventually principal. He ended up serving as principal at Snow Hill High from 1971 to 1995. Purvis said it was his vision to bring football to the school and he was instrumental in hiring the people who helped set up the team. Once it was established, he became the voice of the Eagles, announcing games until long after he retired.
“In tribute to Mr. Shumate’s service to the Snow Hill High School Eagles, we are requesting approval that the stadium be named Kelly Shumate Stadium,” she said.
Along with that, she said the school community wanted to see the field named for Barber, who was personally hired by Shumate in 1972. Barber took the Eagles to four state championship games, winning in 1980 and 1982, and coaching the team through several playoff appearances. Barber collapsed and died on the field during a game against Easton in 1988.
“To date Mr. Barber has the best record of any coach before or after his tenure,” Purvis said.
She said the school was seeking approval of the renaming and that a dedication and ribbon cutting could be held at the start of the 2023-2024 football season. She said a temporary banner in the meantime could let the community know of the upcoming change.
Taylor praised both Barber and Shumate and said he recommended the board approve the field and stadium name. Annette Wallace, the school system’s chief operating and academic officer for grades 9-12 , said she was a Snow Hill High School graduate and that Shumate had been her principal while his wife had been one of her teachers.
“Thank you all for all that you’ve done for our community,” she said. “You all have truly been servants to the Snow Hill community.”