Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 30, 2012

MARK MAYNARD: Friday's game may be last at 'old' Putnam Stadium

ASHLAND — Barring some monumental upsets, Ashland’s Class 4A football playoff opener against Covington Holmes on Friday night could be the last game in Putnam Stadium as we’ve known it.

So if you want to sit down on those wooden bleachers attached to the concrete stands one more time, make plans to be there.

Because the Tomcats are district runners-up to Johnson Central, they are guaranteed only one home playoff game.

Circumstances could change but it would take some upsets for Ashland to play at home again this season.

Here are scenarios for another home game if, of course, Ashland wins its playoff opener.

-Boyd County would have to defeat top-ranked Highlands in what would be classified as the Upset of the Century. That’s no knock on Boyd County but pure reality.

If the Lions could miracuously do that, they would come to Ashland for the regional semifinals.

-Ashland would have to defeat Highlands in the regional semifinals next week and also have either Rowan County, Covington Catholic or Harrison County emerge from the other semifinal.

If Johnson Central wins the regional semifinal, the Golden Eagles would be the regional final host by virtue of being district champion.

Given those scenarios, it’s clear that if you’re a betting man, the Tomcats — win or lose on Friday —are going to be playing at home for the last time this season.

The Ashland school board has already given the go-ahead to phase 1 of the Putnam Stadium restoration project. The first phase is $1.5 million and includes replacing the aging concrete stands with enclosed aluminum bleachers.

The 75-year-old stadium was built as a WPA project and opened in 1937. The infrastructure has had some patches but is showing lots of wear and tear. It’s only part of the natural aging process. It wasn’t made to last forever.

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