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Jeffco Stadium will hold a special place in Lakewood High School’s Dylan Ladd’s memories when he looks back on his high school days. Ladd, a senior running back and kicker for the LHS football team, has played on the field with his older brother Noah Ladd and his younger brother Connor Ladd as teammates for the school. It’s also the place where Ladd first started on the school’s varsity football team two years ago against Bear Creek High School.
“I remember all the lights, how it’s super bright, everyone in the stands — and all the energy coming from (the stadium). It’s awesome having all my teammates out there, and they’re sharing all the energy there,” said Ladd.
Ladd joined his teammates on Aug. 30 at Jeffco Stadium to face off against Bear Creek High School, a game that ended in a 35-27 victory for Lakewood. While the game marked the start of the season for both teams, it also was an important milestone for Jeffco Stadium — its 60th anniversary.
On Sept. 5, 1959, Cheyenne High School from Wyoming played against Lakewood High School in the first ever football game at Jeffco Stadium, located at 500 Kipling St. in Lakewood. Fast forward 60 years later, and the stadium is still hosting a variety of events including football games, track & field competitions, marching band events, Lakewood’s Fourth of July celebration and other events.
“I’ve been going there since I was young. It’s always been a place that I call home,” said Josh Ramos, a senior linebacker and tight end for Bear Creek High School. “I love the atmosphere, and it’s one of the better stadiums in Colorado. I never thought it was 60, because it looks like a brand-new stadium.”
In 2005, Jeffco Stadium received renovations that included a new four-story press box on the west side of the stadium. In 2013, a new and improved track was placed inside the stadium. At the 50-yard line on the stadium’s field sits an emblem commemorating Jeffco Stadium’s 60th anniversary.
It’s been home to high school football playoff and championship games including the 1999 Class 4A state championship football game when Green Mountain High School defeated Skyline High School 42-6. The stadium also appeared in the 1992 “Ladybugs” movie, a sports-comedy film that starred Rodney Dangerfield.
Jeffco Public Schools Sports Information Director Dennis Pleuss has covered events at the stadium since 1997. He says what makes Jeffco Stadium so special is how generations of family members have competed at the stadium. Grandparents come to watch their grandchildren compete at the same space where they competed at back in their high school days.
“It is a sentimental place. Besides the press box, everything else looks the same as it did in the early 1980s when I started going to games,” said Pleuss. “It’s a great facility with a lot of memories.”
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