“Mack Strong exemplifies the core values that Brookstone School is committed to build in its students: loyalty, courage, wisdom, honor, service, respect, and leadership,” Brookstone board chairman Billy Blanchard told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email.
“A common theme when people talk about Mack is his strength of character along with his athletic talents. Going forward, the Mack Strong Stadium will serve as a reminder of the goals set for the Brookstone athletic program and as a tribute to the player whose life embodies those values.”
The new stadium, constructed in the same location as the previous facility, is a $6 million project funded by special gifts to the Columbus private school without impacting its operating budget, Brookstone Communications Director Connie Mansour told the L-E.
Strong rushed for 4,414 yards and scored 83 touchdowns in four seasons at Brookstone, where he graduated in 1989. He helped the Cougars advance to the Georgia High School Association 1987 Class A football state championship game. His No. 22 jersey is retired and on display in the school’s Cheves Athletic Center.
At UGA, Strong played fullback, amassing 1,210 total yards and 10 touchdowns in four seasons. During his 14-year career with the Seahawks, he was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and earned a reputation as one of the best blockers in the NFL.
Strong was also honored for his strength of character and leadership.
He received the Seahawks’ Unsung Hero Award (2001, 2002), the Ed Block Courage Award (2001) and the Steve Largent Award (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006), which is given by teammates to the contributor(s) best exemplifying the spirit, dedication and integrity of former Seahawks wide receiver Steve Largent.
“This new stadium reflects Brookstone’s commitment to athletic excellence,” Mansour told the L-E in an email.
“It includes a much larger grandstand for both the home and visitors stands. The new press box, approximately double in size, offers better visibility for the PA announcers, coaches and media, including Brookstone’s Cougar Live, a student-run game streaming broadcast. An expanded concession stand with plaza space allows for outdoor gathering and eating. The expanded track has eight lanes allowing Brookstone to host regional and state meets.”
Mack Strong Stadium will be dedicated in a ceremony during the Sept. 16 football game at halftime, where Strong is scheduled to appear.