Many men and women could be listed as legends in Ashville history, but, when it comes to Ashville's modern day foundation, specifically football, we look to those that constructed Kin Logan Stadium, Ashville football's home for the past 30 years.
Kin Logan Stadium has been a temple in which Ashville fans and members of the community have come to see our school program be represented by amazing and talented football stars and coaches. Records have been set, players became, even if for a moment, Ashville's heroes, and coaches have made their mark on the Ashville community in that stadium.
My parents and grandparents have watched many a game there throughout the years, albeit it wasn't their stadium . . . that special place for anyone attending Ashville High School prior to the 1985 season is reserved for Jim Nunnally Memorial Field behind city hall. However, that does not mean that the old alumni haven't been as affected by the presence and activity of Kin Logan Stadium as us younger folk.
I can remember running around with my friends playing with a football of my own in elementary school, occasionally looking up to make sure that my Bulldogs were on top, which at that time, they usually were. Then, by middle school, I was more focused on talking and walking. My friend's lives were more important than the game, but I still cheered on the Bulldogs as much as I could at that time. Finally, as a high schooler, I was everywhere doing everything I could to help the team directly. Regardless, that stadium was there for all of that. It was there for all of us and has been for years.
I write all of this to say that this stadium holds a special place in all of our hearts, but what about its beginnings? I've always been fascinated with origin stories, and while most become construed with time, this origin story is as good as gold.
Almost everyone knows that Kin Logan, legendary Ashville High School principal and namesake of our beloved stadium, worked diligently to build the field in mention. He was clever in his usage of materials, equipment, and even labor, borrowing most of it from the prison system and National Guard. Needless to say, that temple of southern pride and vigor that is named after Mr. Logan would not be standing today had it not been for him and several others throughout the community.
I've been meaning to write a piece on Mr. Logan and what he has done for this community for several months now, but that will still have to wait, this is about our beloved palace of pigskin worship.
One thing in particular that interested me was the construction of the actual fieldhouse. After coming into contact with many older Ashville alum in the past couple of months, thanks to our archiving efforts, I learned something very interesting about the finalization of our lovely stadium. It was completed in time for the 1986 football season, but the fieldhouse remained as an unfinished side-project.
At that time, the governor controlled a large discretionary fund that could be used for government projects and donations throughout the state. The Governor of Alabama was the venerable George Wallace. Ashville's local representative was A.J. Blake. Several community members, including Donald Wilson, Mike Davis, R.C. Farmer, and Robert Beason, discussed funding for the fieldhouse.
Eventually, they asked Representative Blake if they could travel to Montgomery to ask the governor for some financial assistance. Expecting a small but impactful check - if they were lucky - the men came back with a check of $50,000! Principal Kin Logan and Superintendent Joey Ray were the two other participants that attended the meeting, coming away as shocked as everyone else.
This story remains a treasure for the Ashville community and shows the determination that led to the construction of what were, at that time, state-of-the-art facilities. It's men like these that made Ashville as successful as it was academically and athletically in the latter half of the 20th century and today.
As Ashville fans and supporters of today, it is our duty and responsibility to carry on this tradition of determination and progress.
Somebody told me a few weeks ago that history didn't matter . . . this proves that it does because it reminds us of what we should always strive to be. We should never give up on ourselves or our children. Ashville is much stronger than anyone could possibly ever realize . . . so let's at least try to.
Note: First season played in Kin Logan Stadium was listed as 1986 but was actually 1985.