New scoreboard honoring Eugene Clemens to be installed

The Etownian September 5, 2012 0

The current scoreboard that has been standing over Ira R. Herr Field at Elizabethtown College will soon be retired as preparations for the installation of a modernized and up-to-date scoreboard, with a heart-wrenching back-story, approach completion. The new piece of equipment is being dedicated to Eugene Clemens and is set to make its debut at Etown by 2012’s Homecoming Weekend.
Eugene Clemens has been a part of Etown’s community since he first came to the college as a religion professor in 1965. Over the years, he has become increasingly involved with the activities on campus and is best known for his dedication to the men’s soccer team. This 2012 season marks Clemens’ 21st year of service as the team’s assistant coach, although he is much more than simply a coach to his players.
According to the men’s head soccer coach, Arthur (Skip) Roderick, Clemens has made a wide variety of contributions to the Etown’s Men’s Soccer Program and its player. He takes photographs of every player during games, as he has for the past 22 years, gives the players and their parents souvenirs of all the games they’ve participated in, leads inspirational prayers before every game, mentors every player academically and puts together the end-of-the-season DVD slideshow that plays during the team’s annual banquets. He is also responsible for all of the photos on the team’s website, as well as positively impacting every player that he has coached.
“For his years of service, I wanted to do something for him in honor of what he’s done for us. So I’ve contacted all of the alumni that have ever played soccer, every player he’s ever mentored and asked if they would like to donate towards the Gene Clemens scoreboard,” Roderick said. “[The current scoreboard] has broken down many times, and we thought that this would be a real way to say thank you.”
In the fall of 2010, Clemens was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, an illness that has yet to fracture his spirit. Despite his sickness, he still attends nearly every game and refuses to be anywhere other than the sideline, snapping photographs of his beloved team.
According to Roderick, Clemens was humbled when he first heard the news of the scoreboard being dedicated to him. “He was very taken back and very honored. He doesn’t like any limelight so he’s really choked about it and this will emotionally keep us connected with him for years to come,” he said.
The funds for the new scoreboard are coming primarily from the alumni that played on the Men’s Soccer Team. “A lot of people are really involved because he is very special to many of the alumni,” Roderick stated.
Roderick says that finding the funds and working late hours to make his goal be put into action has been a rewarding, but long, process. “You have to go through many hoops, climb many ladders, cross your T’s and dot your I’s. It’s taking a lot longer so I myself need to be more patient,” he said.
Not only is the new scoreboard being installed for a good cause, but has allowed Roderick to reconnect with his former players, all while working towards something he believes in. “In a way, it’s very good for me because I get caught up with their lives and find out how old their children have gotten, where they are now and where their destinations are,” Roderick added.

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