Paying another visit to the variety store...
The opening of a new facility is always a big deal.
But there’s just something extra special when the facility happens to be a high school football stadium.
The was the case in 2005 at Grand Valley Stadium and in 2006 at Lakeside Stadium.
Following in step, officials are going all out for the first game at the new Falcon Pride Stadium in Jefferson, slated for Friday, Aug. 28 against visiting Grand Valley.
First, Joe “Mr. Sports” Pete — aka, The King of Ashtabula County Media — will be taking his popular Sports Report radio show from ESPN 970 WFUN to the parking lot outside of the Falcons’ new digs to broadcast his show live.
That broadcast will mark the shift to the Sports Report’s new time slot — 4-6 — where it will remain throughout the high school football season and quite possibly beyond.
Domino’s Pizza in Jefferson, owned and operated by Christy and Tom Jacobs (yes, they are the parents of 9-year-old golf phenom Austin Jacobs), will be providing pizza.
At 6:30, Mr. Sports and his posse, which includes Big Ed Looman, Brad “Golden Arm” Petro (star quarterback for the 1986 Northeastern Conference champion Edgewood Warriors) and Dale “Iron Gut” Milano, will begin the pregame show on WFUN.
After some special pregame dedications to recognize the new FPS, at 7, coach Tom Henson’s Mustangs will square off against the Falcons, coached by his nephew and former Grand Valley star quarterback, Jimmy Henson.
But, that’s not all, football fans.
For the first time in Jefferson gridiron history, a postgame fireworks show will take place, staged by American Fireworks, the same company that puts on the fireworks shows at Classic Park, the beautiful home of the Lake County Captains.
With the field turf, new aluminum bleachers on both the home and visiting side to seat 2,500 comfortably, all-weather track and 26-foot-high scoreboard that will include a 12-foot video display board, the new FPS — along with the clash between the Mustangs and the Falcons — will be the centerpieces of what promises to be a night to remember.
Jefferson principal J.C. Montanaro is pumped up about the big night.
“The dedication of our new athletic field and stadium on Friday, Aug. 28 is the first of two very exciting openings scheduled this school year,” he said. “The stadium project opening and then the opening of our new junior and senior high school later this fall, caps a journey begun when our community voted to build new schools.
“Our students and staff look forward to using these new facilities to continue the Jefferson Area Local Schools’ tradition of excellence both academically and athletically.
“We will use the first game of the season to celebrate the beginning of this new era in Jefferson athletics with a fireworks show at the end of the game.”
After last year’s thrilling 27-26 overtime victory at Grand Valley Stadium, the Mustangs snapped a six-game losing skein against the Falcons and upped their advantage in the all-time series between the two former Grand River Conference rivals to 18-16. The 1983 game, played at the Mustangs’ former home, Al Waters Memorial Field, ended in a scoreless tie.
For his part, Pete, too, is looking forward to the big night.
“Jefferson has built an awesome football stadium and track complex,” he said. “The whole Jefferson community should be very proud that their student-athletes will be able to participate in sports, band, school activities, etc. at this first-class facility.”
Mr. Sports said he is proud to be taking his Sports Report show to help kick off the new FPS.
“I am very excited to be doing the Sports Report live from the tailgate party before the game and calling the first game between GV and Jefferson at the new stadium will be memorable for all of us,” he said. “I am also looking forward to watching the postgame fireworks show.”
A St. John High School graduate and former player for Hall-of-Fame coach Paul Kopko, Pete praised all involved in seeing the project come to fruition on the 28th.
“The Jefferson Board of Education, superintendent Doug Hladek, principal J.C. Montanaro, athletic director Steve Locy and all of the administration, teachers, boosters and staff and the entire Jefferson community should all be congratulated on a great job,” he said. “And I am just thrilled to be a small part of it.”
Best wishes go out to Tom and Kim Triskett, who welcomed their third daughter into the world on Aug. 6.
Carmen Victoria was born seven pounds, 14 ounces and 20 inches long.
Kim, Grand Valley’s varsity girls basketball coach and a member of yours truly’s all-time Star Beacon Ashtabula County softball team, was not due to give birth until Aug. 22, but Miss Carmen had other ideas, obviously.
Aunt Kelly Henson reports Tom was given “permission” to name Carmen and being the big Buckeye fan he is, Tom, a former multisport standout at GV himself, chose Carmen as in “Carmen Ohio” and Victoria as in “victory.”
Carmen joins older sisters Abby and Maddy in the Trisket clan.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at email@example.com.
Paying another visit to the variety store...
Geneva, Edgewood win in J-Town
The Geneva boys and Edgewood girls managed to amass just enough points to claim the team titles at the Falcon Night Relays on Friday at Falcon Pride Stadium.
Johnson: Browns will be better
Football fans of every age gathered Friday evening to converse with Cleveland Browns linebacker James-Michael Johnson.
Skleres finds good fit
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Lakers ousted by LaBrae
Though the LaBrae softball team fell short of one goal this season, another was achieved on Friday.
Fitch 10, Lakeside 1
SATURDAY, MAY 18
n No events scheduled
Top to bottom
For a team to score a number of runs in a softball game, the bottom portion of a lineup has to string a couple of hits together at least once.
Falcons fly to sectional title
Lake Catholic softball coach Dale Colagross had the option of a potential battle with rival Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin, the top-seeded team in the Division II district tournament, or a potential matchup with third-seeded Jefferson in a sectional championship game in the other half of the bracket.
Area High School Baseball Statistical Leaders:
INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 45 at-bats)
PLAYER SCHOOL AVG OB% SLG% AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Chase Thurber PV .548 .642 .790 62 24 34 10 1 1 25 13
Tim Cross PV .492 .528 .667 63 24 31 9 1 0 25 12
Louie Wisnyai Edgewood .492 .559 .763 59 17 29 8 1 2 26 8
Tony Magda Edgewood .483 .552 .603 58 14 28 5 1 0 19 6
Joey Piscsalko Jefferson .471 .548 .571 70 23 33 7 0 0 19 14
Scott Davidson Jefferson .464 .519 .623 69 20 32 7 2 0 10 8
Lakeside rolls past East
One of the great lessons in sports competitions is to play with the maximum effort in utilizing your own skills and talents. It’s a lot easier said than done, but the Lakeside Dragons got a full dose of it Thursday afternoon as they tangled with a youthful and inexperienced group of Panthers from Youngstown East in a Division I sectional semifinal ballgame. The Dragons came out on top, 12-0.
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