Inaugural Columbia Metro Bowl set for Saturday
The first-ever Columbia Metro Bowl featuring All-Star players from 38 Midlands schools will be at Irmo High School’s W.C. Hawkins Stadium Saturday.
The brainchild of Ridge View’s head coach Perry Parks, the game will pit a West team of schools in Lexington-Richland District Five, Lexington and Newberry counties. They will face an East team of players also from Richland District 1 and 2 schools and Kershaw and Fairfield counties.
Irmo head coach Reggie Kennedy will lead the West team.
The S.C. High School League gave its compliance and, once a date and site was found not to conflict with the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North-South Classic, the Metro Bowl became a go. In addition, the rosters will allow players not selected to the North-South Classic or Shrine Bowl to compete.
Like the North-South Classic and Shrine Bowl, portions of the proceeds will go towards a charitable cause. In this case, Palmetto Children’s Hospital will be the recipient.
BSN Sports will provide the uniforms and coaches’ apparel for the game. Kennedy’s staff will include Erik Kimrey (Hammond); Robert Stogner (Chapin); Marlin Taylor (Dutch Fork); Gary Smallen (River Bluff); Kirk Burnett (Airport), Phil Strickland (Newberry) and Mark Cagle (Gilbert).
Kennedy said the response from Midlands’ business and community leaders has been overwhelmingly positive.
“They’re real excited about it,” he said. “We’ve got (Columbia) Mayor (Steve) Benjamin doing the coin toss. He’s going to be a part of it. A lot of the businesses in the area are really excited about it. They’re doing some things for the teams. They’re feeding the teams during the week, so the community is really excited about it.”