"Our attempt to share the old trophies with the community was not intended to be an affront to our alumni."
NORTH CANTON School officials have canceled plans to auction 120 athletic awards amid a backlash from community members.
School leaders posted an announcement Wednesday afternoon on the district's Facebook page.
The district said it would continue with plans to auction off athletic equipment but will no longer sell off the old trophies and plaques.
The district posted this statement:
"We value the efforts of all Hoover athletes over the decades, and we recognize that their participation in sports has rewarded them with much more than a trophy or plaque.
The relationships built, the discipline learned, and the grit displayed are much more important than any piece of hardware earned. We are blessed to have earned a multitude of trophies over the years, and we are simply unable to display all due to space limitations. Our attempt to share the old trophies with the community was not intended to be an affront to our alumni. Instead, we saw it as an opportunity to foster the sharing of memories and to bring life to trophies and plaques that had been placed in storage long ago.
"Over the summer, officials of the Athletic Department had the trophy cases cleaned and organized to make viewing the trophies easier for visitors. When guests enter the front door of the high school, they will see that we have moved the Federal League trophies to a prominent location just outside of the gymnasium. Each of the 25 sports offered by Hoover has a trophy with multi-year plates that recognize the year of each championship. In addition, we have reorganized the State Champion and State Runner-up trophies in another permanent display outside the gym doors.
The goal of this project is to honor all the nearly 175 Hoover teams who have won Federal League Championships rather than having some sports honored and the majority tucked away in storage. We will continue to review the handling of athletic trophies and plan to reach out to our stakeholders to determine a process that is acceptable to the community."
A district spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
Many Hoover alumni reacted to the news.
"They listened and acted quickly... give them credit for realizing it. Thank you!" one commenter wrote on the Facebook page.
Another wrote, "I am happy you have rethought what your actions may have been. It is important to have a history. Who decides what trophies or accomplishments are put in a closet? I would not want to be that person. I am proud to be a Hoover alumni and I want to see the History that made this school so great."
Others were critical or the original plan.
"It was a really stupid idea. Not a good move when the school system asks the community for more tax money. Wow,"wrote another.
The online auction is through Kiko and will run Sept. 3 to 10 at kikoauctions.com.