High school football: Springfield getting set to host Fairfield at SHS Stadium

The Springfield Wildcats play host to Fairfield on Friday night in what promises to be an atypical home-opener.

That’s because the Wildcats will truly be playing at home.

>>RELATED: Springfield opens with big road win 

Instead of busing downtown to historic Evans Stadium, they will take on the Indians at Springfield High School Stadium after water damage rendered the press box at Evans unusable while repairs are made this fall.

“The reason is unfortunate, but I'm excited for our kids,” coach Maurice Douglass told The News-Sun on Friday night. “It'll be the first time actually having an actual home game since the school has been open. Every week we're traveling either, a road game road game, or we're traveling to the south side to play at Evans.”

Located on Clifton Avenue and competed in 1936, Evans Stadium was a Works Project Administration project.

It was the home of the South High School team before North and South were recombined in 2008 in a new school on Home Road.

>>EARLIER REPORTING: Community divided over possible move from Evans to SHS stadium 

In the past, moving football games to the new high school has been discussed and met with opposition from members of the school board and the community.

Both stadiums received a new turf field in 2017, and SHS Stadium has been the site of all other SHS athletics events besides football.

“I love Evans but I'm happy for our kids because now they get to start a great new tradition at the high school,” Douglass said.

Pre-sale tickets went on sale Wednesday at the athletic office at Springfield High School.

According to a post on the district website, adult tickets are $7 while tickets for students and seniors are $5, and the district keeps all proceeds from pre-sale tickets.

All tickets at the gate will be $8.

New Year, New Star WR?

Te’Sean Smoot passed for a GWOC-high 238 yards Friday night as Springfield smashed Hilliard Bradley 44-7.

His top target was Larry Stephens, a senior who hauled in six passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.

“We feel like Larry Stephens is one of the best receivers in the state,” Douglass said. "A lot of people might not know about him, but as people get out and watch our film you’ll see.”

Stephens, who is verbally committed to Toledo, said the best is yet to come from him and his sophomore quarterback.

“Our connection ain’t there yet, but we’ll keep working and we’ll get there.”

Stephens is looking to be the next in a long line of standout receivers to wear the Blue and Gold.

After Titus Montgomery came Thaddeus Snodgrass, a University of Kentucky signee who gave way to Danny Davis.

When Davis departed for Wisconsin, Caleb Johnson and Michael Brown-Stephens stepped up to replace him.

With Brown-Stephens at Minnesota, Stephens looks to take his turn.

“Since seventh grade,” he said of the jump ball skills he showed off on a couple of catches against the Jaguars. “Been doing it since seventh grade. Nothing new.”

Big Challenge Awaits 

The Indians will head north with a 1-0 record after dominating Centerville 33-7.

A pair of Division I prospects headline coach Jason Krause’s offense.

Jutahn McClain, the highest-rated senior prospect in the Cox Media Group Ohio coverage area, ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns, reminding those in attendance why he had numerous power conference offers and will wear the Blue and White of Kentucky next season.

>>RELATED: Week 1 roundupFairfield season preview 

Quarterback Sawiaha Ellis completed 9 of 11 passes for 120 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Elks. The Toledo commit also ran for 44 yards and a touchdown.

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