2017-09-07 / Front Page

Baseball field dedicated to Norman for service as princiapl and coach

Huff, The T&D).
By CHRISTOPHER HUFF
staff writer The Times and Democrat


Jakayla Norman, 8, niece of the late David Lee Norman, was joined by school officials, family members, and friends to pay tribute to three former leaders of Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five as athletic facilities were dedicated and named in their memories. Norman had a scoreboard named for him and a plaque erected commemorating his life’s accomplishments. Jakayla Norman, 8, niece of the late David Lee Norman, was joined by school officials, family members, and friends to pay tribute to three former leaders of Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five as athletic facilities were dedicated and named in their memories. Norman had a scoreboard named for him and a plaque erected commemorating his life’s accomplishments. School officials, family members, and friends paid tribute to three for­mer leaders of Orangeburg Consoli­dated School District Five as athletic facilities were dedicated and named in their memories on Saturday.

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School’..’s .’baseball.’.’’..’ .’field.’.’.’’. ’.was’. .’dedi­cated .’in the name of former principal and coach, [Lincoln County native and Red Devil star receiver, the late] David Lee Norman, with a new scoreboard lit up at the end of the ceremony.


Jakayla Norman, 8, niece of the late David Lee Norman looks up at the new scoreboard on the Orange­burg Wilkinson baseball field dedicated Saturday, August 26, in her uncle’s memory. 
(Photo by Christopher Jakayla Norman, 8, niece of the late David Lee Norman looks up at the new scoreboard on the Orange­burg Wilkinson baseball field dedicated Saturday, August 26, in her uncle’s memory. (Photo by Christopher O-W’s gymnasium now bears the name of longtime girls basketball coach Edward A. Pellman.

Bethune-Bowman High School’s gym was dedicated in memory of former school board member Mel­vin L. Crum.

Commemorative plaques were unveiled at all three locations.

OCSD5 trustee Julius Page sa­luted Norman as “one of the great athlete-educators who has passed through Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five, outstanding gentleman... a true scholar.”

“We loved him so much. We miss him,” Page said.

Listing Norman.’.s .accomplish­ments, Page noted Norman lettered in four sports in high school, earned a football scholarship to South Carolina State University, setting school records for receptions in a game and in a season. He played in the Canadian Football League for three seasons before returning to work in Orangeburg. He was twice named Class 1-A Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association.

“He was a basketball coach, baseball coach, football coach for 16 years,” Page said.

Norman was inducted into S.C. State’s hall of fame and was named Athletic Educator of the Year twice by the state’s school administrators, Page said. At the time of his death, Norman was principal of O-W.

Norman’.s. widow... Debra. Nor­man, .. expressed her gratitude to all involved in the honor. She said that she was puzzled when she first heard the baseball field was being named after her husband. He was a longtime football coach, she said, and later the principal.

“Then I was reminded... that when the school was built, a lot of the sports were brought over here, but not baseball. And we were still playing baseball at the city field, Mirmow Field,” she said.

“And David was very instrumen­tal in getting baseball on this new campus. Thus the naming of the baseball field,” she said.

“And I’m so proud and I really wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.

Trustee Henry Jenkins said he worked with Pellman for many years.

“He was a champion,” Jenkins said. “And when you’re a champion, it starts to rub off – everything he touched.”

Jenkins recalled discussions with Pellman in the business office.

“And he would go into his pockets a lot of times,” he said. “He’d take those children out who didn’t have anything. He’d feed them (and) anything else.”

“And in return, champions came out of it,” he said. “Those girls loved him and they just laid it on the line every day.”

Jenkins noted Pellman’s teams won 14 region titles, recorded 13 20-win seasons, made 10 Upper State finals appearances, winning seven of them, and captured four state championships.

Pellman was inducted into the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as well as the OCSD5 Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a seven-time Region Coach of the Year, three-time S.C. Coaches Association Coach of the Year and was twice named High School Sports Report Statewide Coach of the Year, Jenkins said.

Pellman.’.s .son, .Edward .A. .Pell­man Jr., said his father is most remembered for girls basketball, but over the years, he also coached baseball, volleyball and golf.

“It gives me and my family a great honor to know that O-W’s high school gymnasium is being named after my father ... in recognition of his dedication,” he said.

He said that through all the titles his father won, the coach always gave credit to the hard work of his players, assistant coaches “and the support of the entire school com­munity.”

“To my late father, I can only say, ‘Job well done, and I am proud to be your son,’” he said.

Crum’s lifelong friend, state Sen. John Matthews, said, he «had a clear vision and wanted to make a differ­ence in the community.”

Matthews said he was one of the people who convinced Crum to first run for the Bowman school board.

“That was his passion and his heart,” he said.

Crum was close to his father, Mat­thews said, speaking often of him, his advice and the example he had set for his son.

“He had that kind of passion for education and children,” he said.

Matthews recalled the words of African-American botanist, inventor and educator George Washing­ton Carver, who said that everyone who lives on this earth has a responsibility to leave some evidence that they live here, serve here and work here.

“My good friend Melvin Crum leaves a lot of evidence,” Matthews said. “And he’s done good work.”

Trustee Vernon Stephens noted Crum was first a member of the Bowman School District Two board, then following consolidation, a member of the District Five board, later serving as its chairman.

“Mr. Crum was a visionary leader who cared deeply for the district children,” Stephens said.

He said that Crum was also suc­cessful as a businessman and a farmer, and he was named by then- President Jimmy Carter as the first African American state executive director of the Agricultural Stabi­lization and Conservation Service (now the Farm Service Agency).

Stephens said the day’s honor was about “recognizing the great contributions Mr. Crum made to our school district and the positive influence he had on the lives of so many children.”

Crum’s widow Yvonne Crum said that she and the family “are humbled and appreciative of today.’.s .dedica­tion and naming of the gymnasium here at Bethune-Bowman ... in his honor.”

“It was here in this very com­munity that he came to know God’s purpose for his life,” she said. “Melvin was a good man, and God blessed him with a rich and mean­ingful life.

“He had a way of touching lives and hearts. He made hearts glad, he made us smile and he made us laugh,” she said. “He was truly an advocate for children.”

She said that she and the family are grateful to OCSD5’.s .administra­tors, ...... staff, students and the commu­nity “for honoring Melvin in such a special way.”

“His legacy will forever remain within our minds and will forever warm our hearts,” she said.

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