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Mariner High set to rededicate Tony McKenna stadium

By Staff | Sep 1, 2009

Mariner High School will hold a rededication ceremony for the Tony McKenna Football Stadium before its season opener Friday.
The Tritons are playing at home against Cape Coral High School and will rededicate the field in honor of Tony McKenna starting at 6 p.m.
On Sept. 5, 1989, McKenna was struck by lightning and died while walking off the football practice field.
Cape Coral was a fraction of its current size in the late 1980s and the community was profoundly affected by McKenna’s tragic death, said Mariner High School Athletic Director Vito Mennona.
Many of the players and coaches on the ’89 roster will attend the rededication, as well as members of the community who remember what happened.
“This town was a quarter of the size it is now,” Mennona said. “It really affected everybody, and many people who were not on that team have gotten in touch with us.”
By November 1989 the school dedicated its field in McKenna’s honor.
An obelisk was later installed with a plate commemorating what happened that season and a scholarship for football players was created in his honor.
“We’re going to have a reception from 6-6:45 p.m., walk out and look at the new obelisk, and we’re going to go in front of the stands and say a few words to the crowd,” Mennona said.
Before Mariner High takes on Cape High on Friday — coincidently, the same scheduled match that had been delayed in 1989 after McKenna’s death — the Army JROTC Triton Battalions’ Color Guard will present the colors.
Tony McKenna Football Stadium is located behind Mariner High School at 701 Chiquita Blvd. N.
For information about the event, contact the school at 772-3324.