The Swamp has a new name, but it almost didn't happen on schedule.
The renaming of the Land O' Lakes High stadium in honor of former coach John Benedetto was on on Tuesday's school board meeting agenda, and supporters of the proposal packed the room.
But when it came up for a vote, board vice-chairwoman Cynthia Armstrong made a motion to table it until the board's next meeting.
Board member Steve Luikart seconded the motion, which was greeted with groans of disapproval from the crowd in attendance.
Armstrong said she based her reasoning on the fact that policy items are always given a chance for a second reading to allow for community input.
Once the board hears from the community, its members are able to vote with confidence that it's a name that can be held down for the remainder of the school's history, "now and forever," Armstrong said.
It's not something the board can take lightly, because generations from now students will be looking at that name, Armstrong said.
Luikart said he had no qualms with the renaming, but called it a "lifelong situation" and stated that the board had not heard from the school itself or the booster club.
Board member Allen Altman and chairwoman Joanne Hurley disagreed.
"We’ve heard from people for months,” Altman said.
“I have received a tremendous amount of emails and I do not support tabling it to the next meeting,” Hurley said.
People have had plenty of opportunity to give their input on the issue, Hurley said.
Armstrong's motion failed 4-1, with Luikart voting against, despite having seconded it.
The motion to rename the stadium John Benedetto Stadium was then approved unanimously, with Armstrong noting that she was not against the original motion for the renaming, but that she'd simply wanted to allow more time for public input.
Altman noted that Armstrong's comments were valid, and that going forward the board should examine policy that might limit the time period such an action would be in place for; rather than a permanent renaming, such a gesture could be done for a limited period of time so that future coaches and educators might be honored.
Examining such a policy item is now on the board's to-do list. But as for the fate of the Land O' Lakes High Swamp, it will now be known as John Benedetto Stadium.
(And the crowd went wild.)