History / Overview
Pennington Field is located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, two miles from the south entrance of DFW International Airport on Airport Freeway and Central Drive in Bedford, Texas. It was built as a multipurpose Stadium with two gymnasiums, one for gymnastics and the other for meetings. The football field is also utilized as a soccer field. Pennington Field has been honored as the most used stadium in the State of Texas. With a capacity of 12,500, the Stadium has been called the "Star of Stadiums" by the Fort Worth Star Telegram and was named in an article as one of the "Best Places To See A High School Football Game." Others throughout the State of Texas refer to Pennington Field as the place to play or watch a high school football game. The priority use of Pennington Field is for the students enrolled in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. L. D. Bell and Trinity High Schools play their football and soccer games at the stadium. The seventh, eighth, and ninth grades of the five junior highs in the school district also utilize the field.
The Hoot Smith Student Activity Center is used by the gymnastics teams of both high schools and the five junior highs. Motor development classes also use the Activity Center for preschool day programs and age-group night programs. The Activity Center was named in honor of Hulin "Hoot" Smith, the first and former Athletic Director of the school district.
Pennington Field is named in honor of former L. D. Bell High School Coach Fred Pennington. Coach Pennington began his Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District coaching career in the spring of 1959. He took a team that was 2-8 in the fall of 1958 and turned it into an 8-2 team in 1959. Coach Pennington died of electrocution in the summer of 1960 at his pool. Bell High School was then located on the corner of Raider and Pipeline. The football field behind the school was named for Fred Pennington after his death. In the fall of 1987, the current Pennington Field Stadium, owned and operated by the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, was opened.
Head Coach L.D. Bell High School, 1959 to 1962
In a relatively short period of time, Coach Pennington excited our community with a new beginning for H-E-B sports. In an all too short period of time, the community was mourning his untimely death. Fred Pennington's influence continues today in the lives of those friends and former students who were changed by the example of his character, his high ideals, and his shared Christian faith.
Long after the cheering stops and the games and the scores become only a passing memory, the influence of a great teacher continues. In this broader sense, the spirit of Fred Pennington lives on in the dedication and commitment of the coaches, teachers, players, and students gathered here tonight.
This plaque is dedicated to the memory of Fred Pennington by the men and women whose lives he touched -- the L.D. Bell graduating classes of 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964.
Dedicated at the new H.E.B. Pennington Stadium
November 6, 1987