FRANKLIN FURNACE — An investment in the Franklin Furnace community is bearing its first fruits.
The Green High School football program will open its new football stadium to the public on Aug. 20 — when the Bobcats host Fairfield Christian Academy — in a standalone Saturday contest in Scioto County.
It’s an event that members of the Green Local School District staff, Green alumni, and Franklin Furnace natives couldn’t be more excited for.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable opening weekend for us. We have the coach that opened the original field, he’s coming back to marshal the parade and talk with the guys,” Green football coach Chad Coffman said, at the Bobcats’ media day. “I think they invited every homecoming queen at Green back, a huge alumni band that’s been practicing. This community really invested in the kids and the kids deserve it. They deserve this, the weekend and night.”
A season ago, Green played three home games at Wheelersburg’s Ed Miller Stadium during its six-game season.
Fast-forward 365 days and the Bobcats’ football program will play host to five home games back in Franklin Furnace — as they compete for a spot in the Division VII, Region 27 OHSAA playoffs.
The 2022 Bobcats feature a 30-man roster, 10 of which are seniors.
Three seniors — Landon Lodwick, Isaiah Runyon and Chais Lavender — noted how excited their team and community are to debut the new stadium.
“The community is excited, we’re excited, the whole school is excited,” Lodwick said. “To go out on a Saturday night with a lot of area schools coming out to watch and see what we’re capable of this year is going to be a different vibe.”
“It’s crazy to think that we have a brand new stadium,” Lavender said. “Lots of fans are going to come out and see this.”
“It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but it’s going to be a thrill to be out there and it’s exciting to be able to play there,” Runyon said. “It’s something everyone’s excited for.”
Green’s 2022 home schedule includes non-league games versus FCA, Fisher Catholic and Southern, and league contests versus Symmes Valley and East (Southern Ohio Conference Division I).
The Bobcats will travel to Ridgedale, Ashland Fairview (Ky.), Notre Dame, Northwest and Pike Eastern this fall as they pursue the program’s first postseason appearance since 2018.
“It’s going pretty good. I feel like everyone’s gotten better and progressed since last year,” Runyon said. “I think we have a good chance of doing better than we did last year.”
“We’re extremely excited. The intensity, the excitement at practices have been great,” Lodwick said. “We want to leave a good mark on the younger kids — I think we’re going to go out and prove a lot of people wrong this year.”
“It’s exciting. Our upperclassmen, our younger players, we’re ready to go. It’s different now,” Lavender said. “We’re looking pretty good in practice, doing the right things in getting ready for the season.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved