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Fans have football fever

September 05, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HALFWAY - With her face painted in red stripes, "Tinker" Ashworth was all set for opening day of the Washington County Junior Football League's 40th anniversary season Monday.

Despite the Labor Day holiday - or maybe because of it - the parking lots and roadside parking spaces filled up fast at Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park in Halfway before the 9 a.m. ceremonies.

Perfect weather heralded the start of a traditional fall activity.

"I always dress up," Ashworth said. "Not just on opening day ... at all the games."

The tradition began when her son, Shoney Reasnor, played four years for the Redskins. Now, Ashworth's grandson, Corey Reasnor, is 10 years old and plays for the Redskins.

"I remember my opening day when we still played at Municipal Stadium," Shoney Reasnor said. "I was so excited and scared, I threw up."

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Too young to play, Owen Reasnor, 2, was content to run around in his Redskins shirt and try to catch a glimpse of his big brother on the field.

"Corey also plays in the West End Little League, and Shoney is his coach," Ashworth said, noting her family's sporting traditions.

Brandon Hess, 12, is playing his second year in the Washington County Junior Football League. He is a Redskin and proud of it.

"I think we are going to do well this year," said Brandon, who is quarterback for his team. "Bill Livingston is our coach, and he is great."

With no game scheduled Monday, Brandon was looking forward to today's game against the Titans.

The Washington County Junior Football League fields 22 teams of players from grades 3 to 8, plus 13 cheerleading squads, according to Don Davis, league president. The league involves about 1,000 children on an annual basis.

Doris Nipps, a Washington County Commissioner and four-year member of the Parks and Recreation Board, attended the opening day festivities.

"The league uses the field for free, and it's their concession stand," Nipps said. "We don't have enough fields for all the youth programs in the county, but we are committed to finding more."

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