LAKEWOOD — Bear Creek and Lakewood will kick off a historic season for Jeffco Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.
The flagship stadium for Jeffco Public Schools begins its 60th season with the opener between the two old Jeffco rivals that were around when Jeffco Stadium (500 Kipling St. in Lakewood) opened its doors in 1959.
“I think it is really exciting for both players and coaches to be the game to kickoff the season at Jeffco (Stadium). On top of it we get a rivalry game against Lakewood High School,” Bear Creek football coach Zach Morris said. “It is pretty amazing that it is the 60th year of football at Jeffco, hopeful we do the district proud with a high quality game.”
The inaugural game on Sept. 5, 1959 featured the Cheyenne Indians versus Lakewood Tigers.
Admission prices will be rolled back for Friday’s football game between the Bear Creek Bears and Lakewood Tigers to celebrate the event — $3 adults and $2 students. The first 500 football fans through the gates will receive a collectable Jeffco Stadium 1959-2019 60th anniversary season t-shirt. Gates will open at 6 p.m., one-hour before kickoff.
Despite the fact that Bear Creek and Lakewood are not in the same conference with the Bears moving down to Class 4A a few years ago, Lakewood football coach Jeff Braun expects a spirited game.
“This is a long time rival between to schools that really don’t like each other,” Braun said.
This anniversary holds special meaning for Jeffco’s Executive Director of Athletics and Activities — Jim Thyfault. The Pomona High School graduate attended games in the 1960s, played at Jeffco Stadium for the Panthers in the 1970s and had sons play at Jeffco Stadium.
“The stadium has stood the test of time,” Thyfault said. “In large part due to the support from the district to update when needed and the commitment our stadium managers put into it. They take a lot of pride in their work.”
Jeffco Stadium is set to host 26 regular-season prep football games this season. Jeffco Stadium has been the home of the all-classification Colorado High School Activities Association’s three-day state track meet for a decade.
“It’s an honor that CHSAA asks the district to host the three-day state track & field meet each year at the stadium,” Thyfault said. “It always caps off a great year of good football, good track & field, good athletes, coaches and officials.”