New Danville football coach Clay Clevenger likes the tradition and success of the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic. However, he’s making one change to the annual bowl that he thinks will be good for his program — and area football fans.
Instead of playing on Saturday night, he’s moving the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic to Friday. This year’s games — Danville vs. Mercer County and Glasgow vs. Garrard County — will now be on Aug. 30 and not Aug. 31.
“I like playing the traditional Friday nights,” said Clevenger, a former Danville all-state lineman who recently was named Sam Harp’s successor at Danville. “I like the routine of it. You are in school that day and don’t have to have kids sitting around all day (on Saturday) and wondering what they are doing or not doing.
“I think it is important to stay in a routine, especially my first year. I need to let kids know early in the season what our routine will be week to week so they can be used to that.”
Moving the game also avoids a conflict with the Stuart Powell Bowl at Boyle County that is set for Aug. 31.
“I just think it will be good for the community to have a great bowl weekend. On that Friday and Saturday, you will have four good games. A lot of area fans can get out to see a lot of good football,” Clevenger said.
Since Lincoln County will be playing in Boyle’s bowl, that means area fans can see five area teams play in just over a 24-hour period on Aug. 30-31.
Coaches Chris Pardue of Mercer, Mark Scenters of Garrard and Rick Wood of Glasgow all “signed off” on moving the Bob Allen¿Pigskin Classic to Friday. In 2014, Garrard and Danville will play the first game with Glasgow and Mercer playing the second game. The first game each year will start at 6 p.m. with the second game slated for about 8:30.
“With us and Mercer playing the first game this year, it’s not a long travel time for fans. Next year it is the same for us and Garrard,” Clevenger said. “It might be a stretch for some fans to make the 6 o’clock kickoff, but it will be a great family atmosphere. Come out, grab some food at the game and watch some good high school football.”
Clevenger also likes being able to hold a reception the day after the bowl for Danville Schools Athletics Hall of Fame inductees that will be honored at the game.
“It just allows the weekend to run a little smoother and gives us a chance to let the inductees talk about their experience and also lets us recognize our bowl sponsors at the reception,” Clevenger said. “I think that will be a good situation as well for everybody involved.”
Clevenger won’t say that the Pigskin Classic will always be on Friday, but that is his hope.
“We are going to take a two-year look at it and compare it to past bowl games,” the new Danville coach said. “If it flops, and I¿don’t see that happening, we will go back to Saturday. But I think we are going to like what we see the next two years.”