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SEB opens new field house
Former Southeast Bulloch football coach Fred Shaver remembers friend and former basketball coach George Roebuck during Friday's dedication of the school's new fieldhouse. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    BROOKLET — Cherished history meshed with a new wave of progress Friday night as Southeast Bulloch dedicated its new athletic facilities.
    Hundreds of Yellow Jacket students, athletes and fans were on hand as the newly constructed Fred Shaver Field and the newly renovated George Roebuck Fieldhouse were officially presented to the school and community.
    “It is our pleasure to be able to introduce you to these great new facilities,” said SEB principal Dr. Trey Robertson during the ceremony. “This is a great step forward for our school, and it’s fitting that we have a couple of great coaches sharing this legacy.”
    The last George Roebuck was not only a great coach — earning “Coach of the Year” honors from the Georgia High School Association three times in his career — but an institution as far as SEB athletics are concerned.
    A plaque honoring Roebuck has hung in the new gym at SEB since its opening in 2008. Now, his namesake adorns Southeast Bulloch’s old gymnasium, which has been updated to serve the school’s current needs, but also houses the same basketball court whose sidelines he used to roam.
    “It’s amazing how beloved coach Roebuck was,” said Gene Eden. “I remember seeing him at an SEB-Statesboro basketball game. The stands emptied from both sides with people just wanting to say hello.”
    Roebuck Fieldhouse now contains a weight room and a locker room for spring sports. An addition to the building has also been made which includes a full locker room, trainer’s room, storage space and coaches offices for the Yellow Jackets’ football team.
    Upon exiting the football locker room, Yellow Jacket players will now be graced with the sight of the new Fred Shaver Field.
    Shaver coached Southeast Bulloch to back-to-back state football titles in 1972-73. Since his retirement, he has remained close to the school and still professes to bleed SEB’s signature blue and yellow.
    Shaver’s namesake, which has long presided over the Jackets’ football stadium, now has a much larger home.
    The 3,000-seat stadium sits on top of the former practice fields and track. New practice fields are in use on the site of the old stadium and Fred Shaver Field is now a multi-purpose facility fully equipped to host football, soccer, and track and field events.
    “I’m glad that we can honor coach Shaver in this fashion,” said current SEB football coach Pat Collins. “He has meant so much to this team and this community. We are certainly grateful to have such a nice facility.”
    During the dedication, Robertson also extended thanks to the Bulloch County Board of Education, Bulloch County Superintendent Charles Wilson, project architect Craig Buckley and head contractor Jeff Pope.
    “These are some great facilities that we can enjoy for years to come,” Robertson said. “From the community, to the board, to all of our coaches, so many people have worked so hard to make this possible.”
    Roebuck Fieldhouse has been in use since the summer, hosting practices for various SEB teams and housing the football program.
    The new Fred Shaver Field will see its first action September 7 when the Yellow Jackets host Montgomery County.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.