Picetti, Roskovich are selected to co-chair Perkins Field Committee fundraising campaign
BRIDGEPORT — A pair of former standout athletes at Bridgeport High School who have went on to be successful coaches at the Division I level in the Columbus area have been selected to spearhead a fundraising campaign — the Perkins Field Committee — to return football to the Brookside facility inside Bill Jobko Stadium — home of the Bulldogs.
Mike Picetti and Chad Roskovich, two key components of the Bulldogs’ 1996 squad that advanced to the second round of the playoffs, have been named as co-chairs of the group, which is made up entirely of BHS alumni with one goal in mind: to return Perkins Field to once again become usable for the students and community of the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District.
Picetti is the head football coach at Thomas Worthington High School while Roskovich is an assistant varsity wrestling coach at Olentangy Liberty High School.
“It all started around 2017. Chad, myself and Pat (McConnaughy) were chatting on Facebook about how much we missed Perkins (Field) and how we wish we could do something for the boys to help them,” Picetti recalled. “The field meant a lot to me and to a lot of the alumni. It is part of who we are today. The kids that are in that school now need to have that history.
“After talking with Chad and Pat, we decided to form the committee. We knew how important it was to reach out to people who could represent the different eras of alumni. We were lucky enough to make great contacts in that area and form relationships with people who had the same ideas we had in making this dream a reality,” he continued.
“We worked with the school and let them know our intentions of what we wanted to do. We sat in on the planning meetings for the new stadium and were able to give suggestions to what we thought was important,” Picetti added. “In the end we were all on the same page and we believe that at the beginning of the next football season, there will be football played once again at Perkins Field.”
Roskovich echoed his former teammates’ thoughts.
“Pat and I got to talking about how we grew up going to games as kids and playing midget football there (at Perkins Field) on Sundays growing up. Then playing (football for me and band for Pat) there in high school and going back to watch the midget football games on Sundays, while we were in high school,” he said.
“Eating breakfast at Sonny Boys the morning after games and everyone talking about the game from the night before. The entire community coming out to the games to support the football team, cheerleaders and band. It’s a special place for all of us (committee members). My senior year when we played Linsly in 1996, it was such an incredible atmosphere to be a part of. Then when I came back home for the ‘Dogs game against Shadyside (2010), it felt the same all over again and we feel bad for the students and community who are missing out on these same experiences,” he recalled. “We started brainstorming and approached Mr. Ripley with the idea and it kind of took off from there.
“While COVID has pushed everything back some, we can hopefully use this time to build the momentum leading into next season’s home opener. Our vision for the home opener next year is a weekend of activities,” he said. “A Friday night social similar to alumni weekend and all day tailgating and barbecuing Saturday leading up to the evenings game. We are extremely grateful for the school district trusting us to help lead this fundraising effort and we just want the students of Bridgeport to have a home for their football, band and cheerleaders once again.”
Roskovich described McConnaughy as: “Pat is Bridgeport’s version of Buckeye Guy at Ohio State. I’ve known Pat a long time as he was friends and bandmates with my cousin, John Kasik, in high school. I’ve stayed in contact with Pat over the years and his love for Bridgeport hasn’t weakened at all.”
Football was last played on Perkins Field in 2017 and the grandstands were deemed unsalvageable the next spring by an engineering firm that cited “damage beyond repair from decades of flooding.” The 100-year-old structure was razed in the summer of 2019.
Estimated repairs ($1,077,141) that the district will be covering include:
new stadium seating and press box — $510,096;
new sound system — $20,000;
fieldhouse renovations (including ADA required restrooms) — $279,000;
fieldhouse roof repairs — $15,000;
paving and fencing — $213,045;
press box technology and site lighting — $40,000.
“We are going to purchase at least one new portable or mobile concession trailer, as permanent concessions are not permitted,” McConnaughy noted. “There are also some cosmetic updates, including a new sign for the main gate welcoming everyone back to Perkins Field.”
Donation levels are: Bronze ($100-$249); Silver ($250-$499); Gold ($500-$999); and Platinum ($1,000-and-over). Donations made will be listed in a commemorative program at the inaugural celebration/re-dedication of Perkins Field. Gold and Platinum sponsors will be added to a donor wall that will be permanently erected at the field.
In addition to any donations, the ability to sponsor rows of seating in the three sections of the new stadium will be available. The are 14 rows available in the center of the stadium for $1,500 each. The 15 sections on the right and left are a little shorter and can be purchased for $1,000 per row. All are available on a first-come, first-spoken-for basis. The goal is for individual classes or families to sponsor a row in honor of their class, as a group, or in honor or memory of a family member. These seats will be affixed with a permanent nameplate, recognizing the sponsor of each row.
All checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley, which is handling the account, 1226 Chapline St., Wheeling, W.Va., 26003. Please put Perkins Field in the memo line.
Donations are not restricted to alumni. Any resident of the school district or anyone outside the district can contribute.
“The board of education is thankful for the efforts of the Perkins Field Fundraising Committee. Bridgeport alumni are very proud of their alma mater and their memories formed while attending Bridgeport,” Superintendent Brent Ripley said. “This is a very exciting time for our students, alumni and Bulldog community. (Board president) Mr. (Jerry) Moore, (board member) Mr. (Don) Cash, the district treasurer Eric Meininger and I will be meeting with the fundraising committee in the near future to plan for our needs for a concession stand, new sign and other improvements for our return during the 2021-2022 school year.”
In addition to Picetti and Roskovich as co-chairs, other committee members are Bob Weaver (Class of 1962); Kathy Marty (Class of 1969); Rick Goodrich (Class of 1980); Paula Cash Scherich (Class of 1985); McConnaughy (Class of 1987); Karrie Mellott Puskas (Class of 1994); and Ryan Kreiter (Class of 2008). The committee would like to thank John Cramer (Class of 1974) for providing the initial donation of $5,000 to kick-start the campaign.
The tentative date for the return to Perkins Field is Friday, Aug. 28, 2021, against Monroe Central. However, that date is subject to change.