Big game weekend

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When the new Doc Harris Stadium is officially unveiled to the community on Friday, it will be almost exactly 40 years to the day since an equally important event occurred in local history — in that very same spot.

It was on Sept. 18, 1970, that the stadium was officially named the “Dr. Arthur K. Harris Stadium,” to honor the local doctor’s significant contributions to high school athletics, and his incredible capacity to give back to the community he loved very much.

“He was at virtually every single game, rain or shine,” said longtime Camas resident Burt Duncan, who knew Harris. “No one put in more hours than Doc Harris did.”

As happens in many situations when an old facility is remodeled and reconstructed, its original name could have been tossed aside for something “new and improved.”

But thankfully, that was not the case here. In addition to continuing the Doc Harris Stadium tradition, a bronze statue of Doc Harris has been placed in the stadium’s courtyard, where it will greet those who attend events held at the impressive facility — from high school soccer and football games to graduations and fund-raising events. It will be a consistent reminder of the community’s roots.

With a new stadium and a new field, Friday will certainly be an evening of “firsts,” but it will also be about remembering, commemorating and celebrating Camas history and that strong Papermaker tradition.