George Stout of Westwood is a member of a rare club.
Maybe its only member.
Stout attended the first game at Putnam Stadium in 1937 and the last one in 2013. That’s a claim probably nobody else can make.
“Dutch Berry’s dad, who was a policeman, took me to that first game,” said Stout, who turned 85 in January. “I used to cut his grass as a kid.”
Last fall, when Ashland played Covington Holmes in the playoffs, Stout also came to the stadium. That was the last game in the old stadium.
“I came to that game, I was feeling so bad,” he said. “I stayed most of the first half. I think there were about eight minutes left.
“I wanted to be the one and only.”
But Stout didn’t want to miss the moment, knowing it was at least possible that would be the last home game in the old stadium.
Turns out, he was right.
This week, as part of a renovation project that has been seven years in the making, the stadium is being taken down.
The home side is already on the ground. The demolition is set to take two or three weeks.
The foundation and new bleachers are expected to be ready for the start of the 2014 season.
“It’s really sad to see the old stadium come down,” Stout said. “Like old people, we’ve got to go sometime.
“Naturally, it’s sad, but I know things have to be replaced. There’s an awful lot of tradition out there.”
Stout played on the field as a junior high member of the Coles Broncos and also played in one game as a sophomore before a massive hit convinced him to give up the sport.
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