High School Football

Historic Kentucky program celebrates 700th football victory

Friday Night Lens, pt. 1: A trip to Barbourville for Ashland Blazer v. Knox Central

Throughout the 2019 season, Herald-Leader photographer Ryan C. Hermens will be capturing the relationship between community and high school football in Eastern and Central Kentucky. This week: Ashland Blazer v. Knox Central in Barbourville.
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Throughout the 2019 season, Herald-Leader photographer Ryan C. Hermens will be capturing the relationship between community and high school football in Eastern and Central Kentucky. This week: Ashland Blazer v. Knox Central in Barbourville.

Ashland Blazer football marked an important milestone at home Friday night with its 700th win in program history.

“It means so much, especially happening here at Putnam Stadium,” Ashland Blazer Coach Tony Love told the Daily Independent (Ashland) after the Tomcats’ 53-7 win over Boyd County last week. “You can look around and feel the tradition. You think of all the people that played here. It’s very humbling in terms of the legendary coaches. You feel pretty small, I guess.”

Ashland Blazer will honor those who contributed to that legacy at this Friday’s home game, encouraging past players to attend its matchup with George Washington (W.Va.) at Putnam Stadium where a special recognition event, complete with commemorative ball for the school trophy case, will be conducted. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“We’re proud to become only the ninth high school in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to reach the milestone of 700 victories,” Ashland Blazer Athletic Director Mark Swift said in a statement announcing the commemoration. Past players with questions about the event are directed to contact Swift at the school.

Somerset will be the next team to hit the 700-win plateau, probably later this season. The Briar Jumpers have 698 wins. Bowling Green, in eighth place in program wins, crossed the mark last year and has 703. Highlands leads all programs with 895 wins.

Love, in his seventh season as Tomcats head coach, has 55 of those wins, averaging nearly nine wins per season. Ashland Blazer has two state titles, winning Class 2A in 1967 and Class 3A in 1990.

KHSAA all-time team wins

896. Highlands (1915- )

894. Male (1893- )

889. Mayfield (1919- )

787. Danville (1924- )

787. Paducah Tilghman (1904- )

771. St. Xavier (1917- )

747. Owensboro (1893- )

703. Bowling Green (1922- )

700. Ashland Blazer (1900- )

698. Somerset (1907- )

Jared Peck, the Herald-Leader’s Digital Sports Writer, covers high school athletics and has been with the company as a writer and editor for more than 19 years.
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