By JB Clark
TUPELO – Renasant Bank announced Thursday morning it has purchased the naming rights to Tupelo High School’s newly approved blue turf field.
The bank will be paying $140,000 over 10 years, according to B.B. Hosch, Tupelo Community Bank president at Renasant, for the rights to call the new football field Renasant Field.
The rights will include Renasant Bank’s logo on the field’s 25-yard lines.
“I come in here and look at the banners and the first thing on Renasant’s banner is ‘Great Communities,’” said THS Athletic Director Andy Schoggin. “Without a doubt, strong schools and strong communities go hand in hand.”
Schoggin said he is glad to see the partnership between the school district and a corporation with a strong brand name.
“We’re extremely proud of our school district and happy to be a part of this announcement,” Hosch said. “We’re the largest bank by market share in Tupelo and Lee County and we think it’s appropriate to have this partnership with the largest high school in the state of Mississippi.
“We know it will exciting for the students to perform on it – not only football but girls soccer, boys soccer and bands competing from all over Mississippi. We look forward to seeing the Golden Wave play and win on Renasant Field.”
The field renovation will cost $1.3 million, about $705,000 of which has already been raised.
Football coach Trent Hammond said most of the student body is abuzz with excitement about the field.
“We did an unscientific survey when we started this and our kids were almost nine out of 10 for blue – not just soccer and football players but the entire student body,” Hammond said. “This not only provides a competitive advantage in all sports, but also bleeds some excitement into the programs. It will also give us an opportunity to get more national attention.”
Hellas Construction of Austin, Texas, won the bid for the project and will begin work shortly after THS hosts a regional track meet on April 26. The project is expected to be completed in late July or early August, before the school’s first home football game against Center Hill on Aug. 22.