Sprinkle divides his loyalties half and half

September 04, 2003|JILL ERWIN

It takes Ray Sprinkle two seats, and sometimes two shirts, to watch the annual Boyle County-Danville football matchup.

The Danville man is a rarity in this county because he supports both Boyle and Danville.

He attends games all year, rooting for the two. But when they meet head-to-head, Sprinkle makes sure to divide his loyalties evenly.

"I sit on one side for one half, and I move over to the other side for the other half, no matter what the score is," Sprinkle said. "Last year I was on the Danville side first and I moved to the Boyle County side for the second half."

Sprinkle, a 75-year-old retiree, has T-shirts commemorating each team's recent successes and state championships. He said he has been known to change shirts at halftime to fit in with the fans he'll be sitting with.


It hasn't always been this way, a man supporting two teams with as big a rivalry as there is in the state. Sprinkle moved to Danville 22 years ago after growing up in Berea. His job as a truck driver kept him away some Friday nights, but he said if he was in town, he was at a Danville game.

He was unashamedly a Danville fan, until Boyle made him split his loyalties. When Sprinkle turned 70, Boyle gave him a free pass to athletic events, which is renewable each year. He started attending Boyle football games then and has been rooting for both teams ever since.

"This sounds crazy, but I have gone to Danville and if their game starts a little earlier it could be out of hand at the half and I'd leave and go to Boyle County," Sprinkle said.

His Friday nights are spent at the stadiums, and he usually goes alone. Sprinkle said he's invited his wife, Inez, and his daughter, Karen, but neither are keen on going with him.

"My wife thinks I'm crazy," Sprinkle said. "She loves Kentucky and she watches all the Kentucky games, her and my daughter. But she's not interested in high school sports. I invite them to go to the game with me and they're not interested in other games. 'I don't know any of them,' (she said) but I say 'You don't know any of the UK players either.'"

One thing Sprinkle knows is he's impressed by the coaching jobs done by Boyle's Chuck Smith and Danville's Sam Harp. The two have combined for six state titles in the last four years.

"I like coach Harp and I like coach Smith," Sprinkle said. "They're both real good as far as I'm concerned. I think both of them probably should have already moved up to a higher level. They're both excellent coaches.

"I'd like to see the game won on the last play of the game. Most of the time I'll be pulling for one team subconsciously sometimes, but I wouldn't mind if it would come down to the last play of the ballgame."

Regardless of who wins, Sprinkle comes out a winner. He said he's proud of the accomplishments of both teams, and he makes sure to tell everyone about the two when he goes out of town.

"When we go to reunions and things, I tell them 'I'm from the town of champions,'" Sprinkle said.

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