UK to host Boyle's game with Henry Clay

July 29, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

HOOVER, Ala. - Boyle County opened the 2003 season in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Now the Rebels apparently will get their chance to play in Commonwealth Stadium.

University of Kentucky officials have agreed to let Henry Clay host Boyle at Commonwealth Aug. 27, the second week of the high school football season, because Henry Clay's football facilities have been declared unplayable this season.

Boyle athletics director Jim Spears told The Advocate-Messenger Wednesday that he still had no official word on the game's location, but he knew Commonwealth Stadium had been discussed.

Boyle coach Chuck Smith saw Henry Clay coach Sam Simpson discussing the venue change on the news Tuesday night, though he still has not heard anything from either UK or Henry Clay regarding it.


"I heard coach Simpson talking about it on the news, so I guess it's for sure," Smith said. "It's their game, and they can have it anywhere they want to. It doesn't matter to me, as long as they tell me for sure before we load up the bus that Friday."

However, UK officials confirmed that plans were being made to have the game at Commonwealth. Kentucky does not play its first home game until Sept. 18, three weeks after the Boyle-Henry Clay game.

"I think if it is convenient and doesn't interfer with our playing plans, then it is a great thing to do," said Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks during a break in the Southeastern Conference Media Days here. "It's nice to have the ability to do this to help them out. Plus, it's nice to have high school teams use our facility."

Smith, a former Kentucky player, said he thinks his team would enjoy playing at Commonwealth.

"That's where the Kentucky Wildcats play," Smith said. "A lot of these kids have been in the stands for games, and it would be a great experience for them to play on that field."

Kentucky quarterback Shane Boyd, who played for Henry Clay, first heard several weeks ago that the game might be moved. He thinks it will be a memorable game for both teams and remembers the first time he got to play on the field in the Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star Game.

"All the players will be real excited," Boyd said. "I don't think they can fill the stadium up, but probably everybody in Boyle County will be there.

"A lot of players may never get to play on a college field. Very few will get the chance to play at Commonwealth Stadium. I'm glad both teams are getting the opportunity. Maybe this will be the start of having more (high school) games there."

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