Former Lewisburg High School Principal James Brady, left with scissors, and current Principal Chris Fleming are surrounded by students as they officially christen James I. Brady Athletic Complex Wednesday morning at the school.

Bob Bakken|DTT

Lewisburg High School athletic teams in football, softball, baseball, soccer and track will in the future be competing in front of their home fans at the James I. Brady Athletic Complex, which residents of “The Burg” will affectionately call “Jamestown.”

An all-school outdoor gathering at the newly-constructed archway Wednesday morning officially christened the facility where Patriots and Lady Patriots have competed since the school opened in the 2006-07 school year.

James Brady, on hand to cut the ribbon in front of the entire student body, faculty and friends, was the first principal of the school and has bled red, white and blue ever since.

“When I found out there was going to be a school built in the Lewisburg part of the county, I immediately went to (former superintendent) Mr. (Milton) Kuykendall and asked for permission to interview for the job and he was gracious enough to let me have the job,” Brady said. “I was the principal at Southaven Middle School at that time and I thought this would be a great opportunity to finish out my career as the principal at Lewisburg High School.”

Chris Fleming, the current principal, said it was a grateful token of what Brady has done to make Lewisburg one of the top high schools in Mississippi.

“Once the Board of Education approved for Lewisburg schools to be built, he became the connection point,” Fleming said. “He grew up in this community, he knew the people in this community, and so he really helped bring the community together in building this school. We felt that this was a great way to honor somebody who put that much time, effort and energy into setting the foundation for what we are doing today.”

Naming the complex for Brady needed approval of the current Board of Education, which came in 2016, Fleming said, adding funds for the arch came with support from the senior classes of 2016 and 2017.

“The senior class last year put the money aside to have all this developed and this year’s senior class did the same thing, as well,” Fleming said.

Wednesday was a special moment for Brady, who said, “You never feel like you’re quite worthy of something like this. They are so many wonderful people who are in the background, so to speak. It’s just amazing.”

Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.

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