In my many years as a sports announcer, I've had the privilege of announcing a lot of football state championship games on radio and TV. It's been a while since the last one however. In 2011 I handled three games on state wide television from Cookeville, TN. I had also done three championship broadcasts in Cookeville the year before, working alongside Vol For Life Andy Kelly. It's really been a long time since I last did a championship game on radio. It was 1992 in Nashville as I did the Marion County game versus Brentwood Academy.
And prior to that I did title games in 1977 when Baylor took on Memphis Christian Brothers in Memphis and the following year it was Red Bank hosting Gallatin. I will get a chance to do another one this Thursday here in Chattanooga as I will broadcast the Boyd-Buchanan versus Christ Presbyterian Academy game in the Blue Cross Bowl on WFLI.
I've done Boyd-Buchanan's games for three seasons now and when the 2023 season began very few if any people actually thought the Buccaneers would play for a state title. Next year....in 2024 that was the year. But in Coach Gary Rankin's second season as head coach, here they are playing for all the marbles Thursday morning at 11:00 at Finley Stadium.
While it's nothing new for me, it's most certainly nothing new for Coach Rankin. He will put his team on the field Thursday looking for state title number eighteen in his long and storied career . We all know his background.... a career record of 486 wins and just 83 losses....four state championships at Murfreesboro Riverdale and thirteen more at Alcoa. The man knows something about winning championships.
There will be some other gentlemen who know a thing or two about winning state titles participating in the Blue Cross Bowl. McCallie's Ralph Potter and Baylor's Erik Kimrey will play for the D-II AAA championship on Thursday evening. Potter has won four state titles with the Blue Tornado, while Kimrey's Baylor team is the defending state champion. Prior to claiming the 2022 state title, Kimrey won twelve championships at the Hammond School in South Carolina before coming to Baylor last year. And....South Pittsburg's Wes Stone was co-head coach for the Pirates when they last won the D-I Class A title in 2021.
Boyd-Buchanan, Baylor, McCallie and South Pittsburg will represent our area well this coming weekend and I'm looking forward to watching all of them play for titles. I hope we have great crowds for all the games at Finley Stadium because the TSSAA Blue Cross Bowl is a crown jewel for Chattanooga.
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Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org