Yet another hidden gem

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By Brandon Mattingly

I’ve been at The Springfield Sun for two years now, and I can say without question that I still learn something new about Washington County every single week.

Whether it’s meeting an interesting new person with a story to tell or discovering a place I had no idea existed, the story of Washington County is always unfolding in front of me.

Most recently, it was the latter that was brought to my attention. The University of Pikeville visited Sandy Simms’ Longhorn Field on Friday to practice before a Saturday meeting with Lindsey Wilson. Prior to last week, I had no idea a resource like that existed, but it was a treat to finally see.

I have to admit, if not for my wonderful general manager, Shorty Lassiter, showing the way, I would probably still be driving up and down Tick Creek Road looking for this mystery practice field.

After findind the place, it was exciting to see the field in use on Friday, because even though there was no game being played, it was a chance for Washington County to open its doors to the more than 80 guests. Not to mention, the team slept and dined locally, so local businesses, I’m sure, would be more than glad to see the Bears pass through again.

I was also interested to see the  players take in such a unique experience.

Many of them are Florida and Georgia natives who had never seen anything quite like the out-of-the-way nature of Longhorn Field. I’m sure junior QB A.J. Graham (Marshall) and junior WR Nu’Keese Richardson (Tennessee) never saw anything quite like Longhorn during their time in the Division I ranks. I could tell the players were enjoying themselves, however, as was everyone in attendance.

It’s something new every week, and this time it was a football field (not to mention other facilities) in the middle of seemingly nowhere.

Though it’s just one of numerous discoveries that have surprised me during my time in Springfield, it showed me yet another piece of the personality that makes Washington County what it is.