Money is raised for naming baseball field
by Jule Hubbard

A committee is raising money as part of an effort to get the Wilkes Central High School baseball field named in memory of Maj. Larry J. Bauguess Jr., who was killed May 14 in Pakistan while serving with the U.S. Army in the war in Afghanistan.
   The money is being raised in accordance with a Wilkes Board of Education policy that Dr. Steve Laws, Wilkes school superintendent, said allows the school board to name a facility for a person if a substantial amount of money is donated to the school system in memory of the person.
   Under the policy, said Laws, a school facility can also be named for a person if that person made substantial contributions to the educational system.­
   Keith Xavier-Hill Deveraux, a leader in the effort to get the baseball field named for Bauguess, today said his committee was told by school officials several months ago that their request didn’t meet criteria for the naming option that didn’t involve donating money.
   Deveraux said he believed Bauguess made substantial contributions to the Wilkes schools, including by speaking to classes in the school system while home from the Army. “A lot of people were disheartened with that decision,” he said. The decision came from a committee of school officials formed to address the request to name the field for Bauguess.
   Nevertheless, said Deveraux, the committee wanting the baseball field named for Bauguess agreed to pursue the option of raising money. He said no certain amount of money was identified as a goal, but that the money would go into a fund for maintaining the baseball field and making improvements.
   Laws said money is donated annually to a similar fund established in conjunction with naming the Wilkes Central football stadium in memory of Wesley Steele, a former Wilkes Central football player who died of natural causes while he was a student at Appalachian State University.
   Bauguess graduated from Wilkes Central in 1989 and was a standout pitcher on the Wilkes Central baseball team. The committee that wants the Wilkes Central baseball field named for Bauguess includes some of his former classmates, including Deveraux.
   He said the committee obtained status as a 501(3)(c) nonprofit and is actively seeking donations. Deveraux said checks should be made to the “Maj. Larry J. Bauguess Jr. Memorial Fund NC3-208-01-01” and should be mailed to Ruth Warren at Bank of America, Wilkesboro Branch, 200 W. Main St., Wilkesboro, N.C. 28697-2425.
   More details on the committee and the fundraising effort are at