- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Sumter District 2 Memorial Stadium is getting a new name with a familiar ring.
The stadium, built in the 1980s, is now known as Donald L. Crolley Memorial Stadium.
Crolley, who died in 1995, retired as the Sumter District 2 superintendent in 1988 after serving six years at the Sumter County school district.
The move to name the stadium in memory of Dr. Crolley came with the consolidation of Sumter School District 17 and Sumter School District Two to become the Sumter School District.
On June 21, Sumter School District 2, with its district coming to a close, the board of trustees unanimously voted to approve the renaming of Sumter School District 2 Memorial Stadium. The vote to rename the stadium by the Sumter District 2 trustees was the board’s last official act.
According to a letter Tommy Dabbs of Sumter submitted to the board, Crolley was “solely responsible for building of the stadium at Hillcrest.”
He worked with the S.C. National Guard and others to get labor and materials donated, or at reduced costs.
Crolley, prior to moving to Sumter County, served as the superintendent for the Lancaster city schools.
He is now a member of the Lancaster County Education Hall of Fame following a posthumous induction.
Crestwood High School head coach Keith Crolley, a cousin of Crolley’s, said he was elated with the move.
“He’s the person responsible for that stadium being where it is,” said Crolley, a Lancaster native and Lancaster High School graduate who played football for the Bruins. “Dr. Crolley got the stadium built for way less than it would have cost.
“The way he was, Dr. Crolley would be the first one to tell you not to do it, but he’s the one that made it happen,” Keith Crolley said.
Crolley said the first game in Crolley Memorial Stadium will be Aug. 26 when his Crestwood High team hosts Sumter High.
“I was coaching at Hillcrest High when the stadium was built and now I’ll be coaching when the stadium is dedicated in memory of Dr. Crolley,” he said. “It will be a proud moment for the Crolley family.”
Crolley’s brother, Greg, a former head football coach at Lakewood High in Sumter County, said Dr. Crolley had a big hand in the stadium’s construction.
“He got it done at a reasonable cost,” said Greg Crolley. “Dr. Crolley had a passion for high school athletics, especially football. That stadium was one of his babies.”
Belinda Jewell, Crolley’s secretary with Sumter County District 2, said the renaming of the stadium for Crolley is super.
“The stadium wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Dr. Crolley,” Jewell said. “He was instrumental in having the stadium built. He’s quite deserving of the honor.”
Donna Mobley, Crolley’s daughter, said her father would be thrilled about the honor.
“Daddy was so passionate about high school athletics,” she said. “On Friday night during football season, there was only one place to be.
“Our family is quite proud of this honor,” she said. “It’s really fitting. I know he would be so excited.”