Same field, different name

District names the stadium’s field after former principal


Elsa Estrada

Administrators and school board officials line up by Ric Canterbury before cutting the ribbon on the field.

Shelby Hansen

On the night of the homecoming carnival, commotion and energy filled the back side of the field house. As booths were set up, another event was going on by the stadium: the renaming ceremony of the stadium’s field to Ric Canterbury Field on Oct. 16. 

The field was named after the school’s first principal, Ric Canterbury. It is the first renaming of a location in the school’s history.

“This building is starting to grow old,” principal Karen Pressley said. “We have old buildings such as Boswell and Wayside and Gilliland. As people have served in a capacity, they begin to name things in the school after someone who has made a large impact. For us, that person is Ric Canterbury.”

Due to the fact that the stadium’s name, Rough Rider Stadium, is too official and already established, the field was renamed instead. This decision is made by a vote from the district school board after a name suggestion is made. 

“It’s pretty exciting [seeing my name on the board],” former principal Ric Canterbury said. “I was just the principal. You hire all these people to run the departments, let them do their thing, and all of a sudden they name this after me. It’s really great when you drive up and see that.”

Canterbury officially worked for the district for a total of 23 years. Before his career as a teacher, principal and coach, he began to clean the classrooms of Saginaw Elementary as a middle schooler. In high school, he worked for maintenance over the summer. His mother was a teacher, which opened up his mind to becoming an educator. After graduating college, he became a teacher and then a principal. He was the principal for seven years. 

“The standard degree for educators needs to be the kids,” Canterbury said. “I like being around the kids. In the beginning, we only had ninth and tenth grades, so we only had around 800 kids. That was a lot of fun to be apart of the beginning [of the school].”

Attendees of the naming ceremony were many school board officials, the school’s administrators, other former principals and Canterbury’s family. A small reception was also held in the field house.

“It was outside, and it was a little more formal than I thought it’d be,” Canterbury said. “Boy, they made me feel like royalty. It was really overwhelming.”

The night of the homecoming carnival was chosen to make the moment special in more than one way. Afterwards, Canterbury and his family could attend the carnival and rally. The school board members would also be able to see the energy that the school has to bring.

“When the school opened up, and we only had two grades, we would always joke around and say, ‘Will they ever name anything after anybody at Saginaw High School?’” Canterbury said. “And we would say, ‘Oh, I don’t know, I doubt it.’ For this to happen, it was a really big surprise.”