Kentucky’s six high school state football championship games will remain in Bowling Green through 2018.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that it will continue its partnership with WKU and Russell Athletic for at least four more years. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says while there are larger football stadiums in the Commonwealth, WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium offers the perfect venue for the games.
“And what we hear from the fans that come, from the coaches who come, to the players who have played here is that the intimacy of a packed or a nearly packed house sometimes trumps some of the bells and whistles that they’ll never see anyway.”
The state football championships moved to Bowling Green in 2009 after 30 years in Louisville. W-K-U Athletic Director Todd Stewart says his school’s coaching staff loves hosting the games because it exposes potential recruits and their families to the campus, stadium, and community.
“Our coaches have always felt that if they can get a recruit here on campus then we have a great chance to get them, because they’ll see everything. And so for us to have six state championship football games here every year, which is obviously bringing 12 high-caliber teams here , exposes our program to them, and vice-versa.”
The 2014 state championship games will be played at WKU December 5-6.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association says it’s monitoring the weather situation related to the six football championship games being played Friday and Saturday at LT Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.
A cold front is expected to hit the area Friday, with snow, sleet, and ice possible.
At this point, the KHSAA says its schedule remains the same, with game being played at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm central time each day.
However, the group says a final determination will be made Friday morning concerning the evening game and the three Saturday contests.
Here is the current schedule for the six title games (all times central):
Friday, Dec. 6
11:00 am: Mayfield (13-1) vs. Williamsburg (11-2) in Class 1A championship
3:00 pm: Wayne County (13-0) vs. Belfry (13-1) in Class 3A championship
7:00 pm: Meade County (12-2) vs. Scott County (14-0) in Class 5A championship
Saturday, Dec. 7
11:00 am: DeSales (13-1) vs. Newport Catholic Central (10-4) in Class 2A championship
3:00 pm: Collins (12-2) vs. Ft. Thomas Highlands (13-1) in Class 4A championship
7:00 pm: Bowling Green (13-0) vs. Pulaski County (14-0) in Class 5A championship
The leader of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association says he’s pleased with the job WKU has done in hosting the state football finals. That might quiet any talk about the finals moving from Bowling Green to Louisville.
WKU has hosted the state high school football finals since 2009, and is under contract to remain host through 2014. Before that, the city of Louisville hosted the events stretching back to 1979.
In a text message to a Courier-Journal sports reporter, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said his group is happy with Bowling Green as the location for the football finals, saying WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium gives fans and player a more intimate setting than the larger Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Tackett says WKU “appears to maximize all desired factors.”
The U of L Cardinals’ upcoming move to a new athletic conference means the team won’t be playing at home the first weekend in December, the weekend the high school football finals are traditionally held. Because of that availability, some have speculated the KHSAA might consider moving the high school finals back to Louisville.