WINTHROP — At 5:45 p.m. on Friday night, with the flick of a light switch and the end of a rainbow in the far off distance, a new era began for Winthrop High School sports.

Charlie’s Field at Maxwell Complex was officially unveiled, an hour before the Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale football team hit the field to take on Lisbon. Winthrop town manager Anthony Wilson emceed the ceremony at midfield, surrounded by the school’s fall athletic teams.

The project, years in the making, was spearheaded by the Winthrop Athletic Complex Committee, headed by Charlie’s Family of Dealerships Vice President Stephen Shuman. The Shuman family donated $1.2 million to the project’s first phase — which include new turf and bleachers — and the purchase of the field’s naming rights. Charlie’s Family of Dealerships President Charles Shuman, a Winthrop resident and the field’s namesake, was on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon.

“It’s the greatest thing in the world for the kids,” said Shuman, a Winthrop resident of 38 years who was met with comments of ‘Thank you, Charlie,’ and ‘We love you, Charlie,’ from players during the ceremony. “That’s why we did it. I love kids.

“(Winthrop) has meant everything to me,” Shuman continued. “My kids went to school here, high school. My grandchildren are here. It’s just a great, friendly small town, but a big town. Big hearts in a small community. It’s just tremendous.”

Work still remains for the field, including a the completion of the track surrounding the field.


Though now Charlie’s Field, Wilson and Winthrop Athletic Director Joel Stoneton said the complex — originally Maxwell Field — will keep the name for the athletic complex. The facility was originally named for Alfred W. Maxwell Jr., the first Winthrop resident killed in World War II, at Guadalcanal. Maxwell’s nephew, David Maxwell, was on hand for the ceremony.

“We involved (David Maxwell) right off the bat and wanted him to know that we not only respected (the facility’s name), but understood it 100 percent. It was important for us to involve him,” Stonetone said.

“It’s certainly a dream come true, but it’s also kind of hard to wrap our head around, it’s kind of like I’m waiting for (the dream) to end,” Stoneton continued. “But it’s amazing for a town this size and population.”

According to Wilson, the facility, originally just a baseball field, was dedicated to Alfred W. Maxwell Jr. in 1946. The football field was added in 1975 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The field was rebuilt, with lights added for night games, during the 1990s.

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