Red Carpet Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Red Carpet Classic reverts to doubleheader

SP to play 2nd game at 8:30

By Myra Bean

South Panola fans who want to attend the first game of the season will have a chance.

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The Red Carpet Bowl has reverted to a doubleheader on Friday, August 29. Last year the Bowl was a two-day affair when South Panola and Warren Central played Thursday and Clarksdale and Vicksburg played Friday.

This year, the Classic will feature Clarksdale and Warren Central at 6 p.m., followed by South Panola and Vicksburg at 8:30 p.m.

The Vicksburg Post reported in June the second game will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

South Panola head coach Lance Pogue said he prefers last year’s format when he was told of the change.

“I decided to have a good attitude toward the change and try to make the best of it,” Pogue said.

Last year when South Panola played Thursday night, the Post reported that Red Carpet Bowl officials were disappointed that only 4,500 people were at that game. The lack of Tiger fan participation was credited to people having to return to work the following day and also the LSU at Mississippi State game being played that night. This year the game will be played leading up to the Labor Day holiday and officials are hoping some fans would choose to stay overnight.

Radio commentator Justice George Carlson said he did not see any empty space on the visitor side last year, but did look across the way and saw some empty seats on the Warren Central home side. The visiting team had its own press box.

“I know that a Thursday night road game is always a concern from the standpoint of having a good crowd, but as you and I know, South Panola has always through the years “traveled well” as far as the loyal fans who make every effort to fill up the visitor’s stands for a road game,” Carlson said. “You and I can recall many a road game where there were more South Panola fans in the visitor’s stands than fans on the home side to support the home team.”

Carlson said he returned for the Friday night game last year and there were more seats filled on the home side, but Clarksdale also had a good crowd.

“I think that since it is a Friday night game, the late start will not be the deciding factor for our fans as far as whether or not to make the trip,” he said. “ If we have as many fans this year as we did last year, I agree that you have a valid question — where do they plan to put all of these extra people?”

The game will be played in the Vicksburg High Memorial Stadium. The Post reported there will be plenty of parking space at the stadium and at the baseball field.

South Panola defeated Warren Central 31-18 for its 61st consecutive win. This year Vicksburg will be trying to put a halt to the 75-game win streak the Tigers own.

“We’re really looking forward to it. South Panola has that big streak going and now Vicksburg will have its shot,” RCB Chairman Winky Freeman said.

Fall practice for public schools begins Monday, August 4. South Panola and North Panola will take the field on that day.