Renaming Cape junior high after Kitchen a good decision

When Terry Kitchen accepted the Semoball Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, we knew the crowd was in for a treat. The longtime Cape Central coach and administrator had a school spirit unmatched by even the most vocal of Tiger fans.

He spoke about putting in the hard work and not giving up. You didn’t have to be a high school athlete to leave inspired. In fact, video of Kitchen’s remarks has been viewed more than 20,000 times on semoball.com and its Facebook page.

Kitchen died earlier this year after a battle with cancer. The visitation and funeral were incredible testaments to his character.

On Monday evening the Cape Girardeau Public School Board announced that the junior high school would be named the Terry W. Kitchen Central Junior High School.

“A lot of the family was there,” superintendent Niel Glass told reporter Jeff Breer. “You could tell it meant a lot to them that the district would honor their father, grandfather, and brother in this manner.”

The recognition comes just a few years after the junior high sports complex was renamed for Kitchen.

Renaming a school is a big decision and an honor not given out with regularity. The school board made a good decision in renaming the junior high after Kitchen. It’s the facility where most of his playing, coaching and administration years took place. It will be a reminder of Coach’s legacy to those of us who admired him, and hopefully start conversations with younger students. You can almost hear students now: “Who was Terry Kitchen?” There will be plenty of admirers ready and willing to talk about Coach.