The Bossier Parish School Board approved a motion to rename Benton High’s football stadium Newman-Mason Field at Tiger Stadium at its meeting Thursday night.
The name honors two former coaches — Dwayne Mason and Charles “Hoss” Newman.
Mason served as Benton’s head football coach from 1977-84 after replacing Newman.
He was an assistant football coach and highly successful girls basketball coach at Benton from 1966 until becoming head football coach.
His basketball teams went 214-115, won five district championships and reached the state tournament twice.
A Cotton Valley High School alumnus, Mason graduated from Louisiana Tech and received a Master’s degree from Northwestern State.
After stepping down as head football coach, Mason became an administrator in Bossier Parish and was the principal at the Bossier Achievement Center.
He wasn’t able to attend Thursday’s board meeting because of a health issue, according to his daughter, Angela Mason McCullough, a teacher at Benton.
In a brief statement at the meeting, she said her father continued to attend Benton football games until recently.
“There is not a bigger Benton Tiger football fan than my daddy,” she said. “He’s thrilled and we’re thrilled.”
Newman, who passed away in 2002, was a native of Ponchatoula who lived in Benton for the final 35 years of his life.
He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Navy.
A four-year football player at Louisiana Tech, he was an All-Conference defensive end in 1942, 146 and 1947. A member of the Louisiana Tech Athletic Hall of Fame, Newman was the captain of the 1947 team that won the Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference title.
He was drafted by Washington in 1948 but an injury forced him to end his playing career.
He taught and coached for 33 years at Lake Providence, Winnfield, Benton and Trinity Heights. His record was 202-127-7 with multiple district championships and playoff appearances.
His final team at Benton won the 1976 District 1-AA championship.
Just before Newman retired, former Press-Tribune Jerry Byrd wrote the following in a Shreveport Journal column.
“Newman is one of the last members of a vanishing breed — a throwback to the days when giants walked the sidelines and stood tall among crewcut boys.”
Benton head football coach Reynolds Moore and principal Teri Howe visited Mason Thursday and presented him with a plaque recognizing the naming of the field.
Moore posted this statement on Facebook.
“Coach Mason along with Coach (Mitch) Downey have meant so much to me for the 9 years I’ve been coaching at Benton. I was never fortunate enough to meet Coach Newman, but his legacy lives on through those who played for him.
I can’t imagine there’s another human being alive who loves Benton more than Coach Dwayne Mason. He bleeds purple and gold to the core. He loves this school and community like no one else I’ve ever met.
I’m thankful to have had his support and to be able to call him and ask questions about the traditions at Benton.
I am so grateful to have been able to go today and be part of letting him know his name would be permanently affixed to our field. I can’t wait to coach my next game on Newman-Mason field. Thanks coach for setting the standard. Love you and our program is grateful to you.”