Alcoa, the two-time defending Tennessee 2A state champion, was scheduled to play Hopkinsville as half of the doubleheader that also featured Trigg County and Madisonville.
The story of how Alcoa informed Trigg County that they were opting out of their contract is well known by now – a simple check in the mail. No phone call. No accompanying letter. Nothing.
That leaves Hopkinsville without an opponent and Trigg County without a tremendous gate to begin the season.
That likely means the Aug. 18 opener will feature Trigg County and Madisonville, a game that has plenty of storylines without a second game to follow.
Former Wildcat player and assistant coach Shannon Burcham is the new head coach, and he will be assisted by Coby Lewis, another former Wildcat player and assistant coach.
Student vs. pupil. A local boy coming home to face his alma mater.
Trigg County is hoping that will be enough to put fannies in the seat to help offset the absence of the second game.
The Integra Bowl has proved to be the backbone of the TCHS athletic budget. All sports share in the gate and concession revenues, and all sports help work the concession stands as a show of support.
Non-revenue sports have been the beneficiary of Integra Bowl money that has paid for new equipment, warm-up outfits, and camp fees.
The Integra Bowl also means the school’s top two revenue sports – football and basketball – get to reap the gate rewards they sow, instead of footing the bill for an entire athletic department.
But local support is what makes the Integra Bowl the success that it is today.
The Bowl has had the same major sponsor for six years and other businesses have joined in as corporate sponsors to help defray the costs associated with putting on an event such as the Integra Bowl.
If putting on an event such as the Integra Bowl was easy and the community support rampant, everyone would do it.
When the Integra Bowl began in 2001, there was only one other bowl game the first two weekends in western Kentucky. Hopkinsville, Paducah, and Owensboro – cities with facilities and fan support greater and better than Trigg County – have tried and failed to organize similar events.
That says something for Trigg County – the school and the community.
While this year’s event has endured a hiccup with the withdrawal of Alcoa, it is by no means a chokehold that threatens to end the life of the Integra Bowl.
It just means the people involved will work to make next year’s bowl game better.
It also taught Trigg officials how some schools view high school sports as a “me-first business.”
With the support the sponsors and community have shown, the hardest part may be turning away teams who want to attend a year in advance instead of six weeks when their schedule is already filled.
With the lessons learned this year and looking at the overall big picture down the road, Alcoa may have just done Trigg County and the Integra Bowl a favor.
Ray Maggard was the head coach of the Trigg County boys’ basketball program from 1978-85, winning a district title in 1985 before moving on to Daviess County and Logan County.
Many Wildcat fans remember his son Kevin “Goose” Maggard, who was in elementary school when his father took the Daviess County coaching job.
“Goose” played at Daviess County and later in college at Eastern Kentucky and Belmont. While at Belmont, Maggard was a guard on two NAIA Final Four teams.
Now the 33-year-old Maggard has been named the head boys’ basketball coach at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood.
Maggard had coached at Davidson Academy for the past four seasons, which included a sectional appearance in 2002.
He also coached the Davidson Academy girls’ golf team to four state titles and a runner-up finish in six years as head coach.
Maggard takes over a Ravenwood team that has advanced to the region tournament the past two seasons but graduates nine seniors off last year’s 19-10 team.
Scott Brown is the sports editor of The Cadiz Record. He can be contacted at (270) 522-6605 or by e-mail at email@example.com.