The heritage of youth athletics will be restored in the Palmerton Area School District.
Several district administrators, coaches, and alumni gathered earlier this week to unveil the seven brand new trophy cases that have arrived in the foyer of the high school.
The cases, which remained concealed in plastic wrap, cost $9,835 and came courtesy of the $1 million grant secured by Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Keith McCall.
Superintendent Carol Boyce said the project was derived from concerns by the public over the status of trophies that appeared to be missing from the current set of display cases.
"Apparently, there had been some concern and question over a number of years from members of the community, alumni, and former athletes as to what happened to some of the old trophies," Boyce said. "(Director) Cindy (Gasper) was truly instrumental in getting the grant, seeing that it came through, and working with us on a day-to-day basis."
Boyce also credited others, such as athletic director/assistant principal William Congdon, as well as former athletic director Kelly Bollinger, for their involvement in the project.
She said the project is being undertaken in an effort to "raise Bomber Pride."
"This is one more piece of the McCall grant project to preserve our heritage and improve the educational process of the school, the grant in total," she said. "These were by and large things that we would not have had in the annual school budget to afford."
Art George, who coached boys basketball in the district in the 1960 and 1970s, served as boys and girls track and field coach for parts of four decades, and had been an industrial arts teacher at the school for 33 years, said the cases are a welcome addition.
"This will allow us to present and display all the trophies because before, we didn't have enough trophy cases," George said. "This will allow us to organize and display them so the people can come and see it."
Mep Moyer, a 1953 graduate of PHS who was instrumental in the formation of the knee-hi football program, said the project was a long time coming.
"The trophies were something that was neglected for a number of years, and they were in terrible shape cleanliness wise," Moyer said. "Some were damaged in some way, some required new engraving, and some were stored in the storage level upstairs."
Boyce said the district hopes to have the project completed by the end of the school year.
"All of us has been very eager to get this done because it's such a great project," she said. "We already have repaired quite a number of the older trophies that are still in storage that are not yet on display."
When all is said and done, Boyce said visitors will be able to take a self-guided tour of the heritage.