MURRAY — The main entrance of the Bee Creek soccer complex in Murray could be taking on a different look soon.
During the January meeting of the Murray-Calloway County Park Board, Andy Gupton, a member of the Murray-Calloway County Soccer Association Board, as well as a coach and parent of two players, brought forth a proposal. It involved the placement of a pair of statues that would flank the entrance where Keepers Way carries traffic into the facility from North 12th Street.
These statues will not be of any particular person, though.
“The idea is to have two statues at the entrance, so when kids ride in, they see a boy on one side and a girl on the other side, each about 8 or 10 years old and they imagine that to be themselves,” Gupton said. “The idea is that it would give them inspiration before they play.”
Gupton said, counting their brick pedestals, the statues would each be about nine feet in height. He said the images of the players would be between four and five feet by themselves and would be carved from wood.
“When we have tournaments, we have 50 or 60 teams that come here. Then, you have all of the kids that get medals, so the thinking is the kids see that entrance and think, ‘Oh yeah! That’s cool! Let’s get our pictures taken in front of the statues!’” he said. “That’s one of those things where kids will talk about it among themselves and say, ‘Hey! You remember that place!’
“When you’re coming down the hill from Mega Gym (on Keepers Way), there’s really not a place for that kind of thing. I am noticing that there is a green space (by the gates of the facility) that will have all of the fields in the background and I think that would have the biggest impact.”
Gupton was asked why he thought the entrance on Keepers Way would be a better location for this display than the concessions area toward the center of the facility. There, several monuments are displayed in honor of residents who have had major influence in helping MCCSA achieve what it has, while Bee Creek has become an attraction for teams from several surrounding states.
“We want the maximum impact on this,” he answered, noting that that not every age group plays matches close to the concessions area. He said his wife, Emily, helped guide him to this conclusion. “(The concessions area) was my initial thought, actually, but then Emily told me how when you first enter, you’re going to see those statues right there. The kids are going to see this when they first enter the park if they’re coming to a tournament. So, Emily needs to get credit for that idea.”
Park Board members unanimously approved the proposal. Cinching that was Gupton informing them that this would be of no cost to Murray-Calloway County Parks and Recreation.
“Anytime you say we don’t have to pay anything, then that’s something we’re always going to like hearing,” said board Chairman Jason Lovett.
“You’ve got somebody heavily involved in our community and really heavily involved in our soccer program. In my opinion, for the park, I don’t see why we wouldn’t get behind it,” said board member Tony Ryan. “You’re talking about funding, but at no expense to the park? I don’t see why we wouldn’t let him move forward.”
Gupton said he has already been at work recruiting a wood carving artist for this project and he told the board that he believes he has found the person for the job.
“I have already sent him some pictures of trophies, kind of a rough idea where you ask, ‘Hey! Can you do this?’” he said, adding that the artist has expressed confidence in being able to create something worthwhile. “He’s told me the best thing is ‘to just let me do it.’ And in working with other artists, especially one like him, you let them handle it.
“And I believe he’s going to surprise you.”