Matthew W. Gilbert 1958 Champion Team on Track to Name Athletic Field After Coach James E. Thompson

Pictured L-R are committee members Charles Sutton (seated) surrounded by Bobby Newsome, Bobby Bailey, Katherine Beatty (MWG Assistant Principal), James Cotton, Anthony “Tony” Hill, Harriett Jarrett, Jessie Johnson, Harold Graves, Dr. Tyrus Lyles (MWG Principal), Kenneth Manual, Curtis Miranda, DCPS District 4 Paula Wright, Ervin Norman, Charles Sapp, Daniel Scott, Jackie Surrency and Leon Smith. SMV photo
Pictured L-R are committee members Charles Sutton (seated) surrounded by Bobby Newsome, Bobby Bailey, Katherine Beatty (MWG Assistant Principal), James Cotton, Anthony “Tony” Hill, Harriett Jarrett, Jessie Johnson, Harold Graves, Dr. Tyrus Lyles (MWG Principal), Kenneth Manual, Curtis Miranda, DCPS District 4 Paula Wright, Ervin Norman, Charles Sapp, Daniel Scott, Jackie Surrency and Leon Smith. SMV photo
Pictured L-R are committee members Charles Sutton (seated) surrounded by Bobby Newsome, Bobby Bailey, Katherine Beatty (MWG Assistant Principal), James Cotton, Anthony “Tony” Hill, Harriett Jarrett, Jessie Johnson, Harold Graves, Dr. Tyrus Lyles (MWG Principal), Kenneth Manual, Curtis Miranda, DCPS District 4 Paula Wright, Ervin Norman, Charles Sapp, Daniel Scott, Jackie Surrency and Leon Smith. SMV photo

by Lynn Jones
The 1958 Matthew W. Gilbert State Championship Football team was all smiles as they celebrated the approval to rename the Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School athletic field in honor of Coach James E. Thompson, former coach, teacher and principal of Matthew Gilbert Junior/Senior High School.

Since receiving notification from Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and DCPS District 4 board member Paula Wright, the committee’s next steps are planning the renaming ceremony. The planning committee stood proud and vowed to continue promoting their theme: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalms 133:1). The announcement culminates a year of lobbying and support for the project to honor the legendary coach.

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