Chick Ludwig
Chick Ludwig

For the past 30 years, Chick Ludwig has been one of the Miami Valley’s most popular sports columnists, the past twelve as the Bengals beat writer for the Dayton Daily News. He retired from the DDN in October of 2009, and currently writes a weekly Bengals blog for the Cincinnati Enquirer and is the Bengals correspondent for the The Sporting News. A former voting member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, Ludwig is a journalism graduate of Ohio State University.

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Want a chance to see the Bengals up close and personal?  Here’s your chance to be “high school” close to the NFL.

Cincinnati – They visited Centerville High School in 1998 and their fans responded.

They invaded Dayton’s Welcome Stadium in 2010 and their fans went berserk.

And now, The Stars in Stripes — the Cincinnati Bengals — are coming back-back-back to the Miami Valley.

NFL fans in the greater Dayton area are advised to mark their calendars for Monday, Aug. 19, because the Bengals have announced they’ll conduct a 5:30 p.m. practice at Springboro High School’s CareFlight Field.

It’s the final practice of Bengals Training Camp 2013 — free and open to the public with no passes required, but parking is $5 — and, yes, NFL Films will be there with cameras recording all the action for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series.

The “Springboro practice” comes after the Cincinnati portion of training camp, which ends August 15. The Bengals host the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Paul Brown Stadium (7 p.m.), then visit the home of the Springboro Panthers two days later.

“The Dayton area is very important to the Bengals,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice president. “We have always had a strong number of season ticket holders and fans from the Miami Valley, and we’ll need them again this year to sell out Paul Brown Stadium and make the Jungle loud for our players. We are very pleased to offer Miami Valley fans a convenient opportunity to watch the team up-close as it prepares for the season.”

Prior to the practice, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and selected players will meet with the Springboro High School varsity football team.

“We like the opportunity to change things up, so meeting with the local high school team, then practicing in a first-class facility in front of our fans in the Dayton area, will make for a terrific day of training camp,” Lewis said. “We are working hard in Cincinnati and look to finish the public portion of training camp on August 19 in Springboro.”

The decision to come to Springboro High originated with a letter of invitation from State Sen. Shannon Jones, R-Clearcreek Twp., who represents parts of Hamilton County and the southern part of the Miami Valley, including Springboro.

Jones, a Bengals season ticket holder, wanted to give fans in her district and region the chance to see the Bengals in person.

“After seeing the great success of prior team practices in the Dayton area and sensing a lot of enthusiasm for the coming season, it seemed like the perfect time for the Bengals to come back,” she said. “And Springboro’s new facility will accommodate the Bengals football needs very well.”

The Bengals last practiced in the Miami Valley in 2010, when an overflow August crowd filled Welcome Stadium in Dayton.

ATTENDING SPRINGBORO TRAINING CAMP PRACTICE:

The Springboro practice will be held at the high school stadium — CareFlight Field. Seating capacity is 5,000 bleacher seats, plus additional room for fans to stand along the sidelines. No passes will be required to enter.

Fans will be allowed to bring small soft-sided coolers, unopened bottles of water and food. Concessions and Bengals merchandise will be available to purchase. No chairs or other temporary seating will be permitted.

At the conclusion of practice, players will be available for an autograph session.

Parking will be available for $5 in the lot adjacent to the stadium, with proceeds going to Springboro High School.

Due to the two-lane road (Ohio 741) into and out of Springboro, fans are encouraged to beat the traffic and arrive early in advance of the 5:30 practice. Springboro officials will do their best to manage traffic and parking.

(Chick Ludwig hosts “The Chick Ludwig Show” weekdays 3-6 p.m. on Dayton’s WONE-AM (980) and “Monday Morning Quarterback” on Mondays from 6-9 a.m. on Cincinnati’s Fox Sports 1360 (WSAI-AM). Follow Ludwig on Twitter @ChickLudwig)

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