Almost 100 senior football players representing 63 high schools will compete in Clarksville for the Tennessee East-West All-Star Classic on the campus of Austin Peay State University on Friday, December 9. Players will arrive in the city on Tuesday, December 6.
“This event is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Clarksville to athletes, coaches and families across the state of Tennessee, many of whom have never visited before,” said Visit Clarksville Chairman Kyle Luther. “While athletes participate in daily practices, parents enjoy exploring the city. We hear many say they haven’t been to Clarksville in years and are so impressed with all that’s new and happening in the city.”
The Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, or TACA, first selected Clarksville to host the football event in 2017. After two years of positive experiences, TACA officials and Visit Clarksville announced a four-year contract to stage the game at Fortera Stadium through 2023. Throughout the event’s four years in Clarksville, participants, parents and visiting officials have spent more than $1.5 million on lodging, food, transportation and other travel expenses in the community.
“Local sales tax from spending surrounding this event is more than $250,000. Of that, over $170,000 goes directly to the school system,” explained Luther. “That’s why Visit Clarksville exists – to promote Clarksville to travelers and recruit events that will generate new tax revenue for the benefit of all our citizens. The TACA Classic is one of many ways we accomplish that mission.”
“Once again, we’re extremely excited about the talent pool for this year’s matchup,” said Bill Marbet, executive director of the organization. “The game is considered the state’s top event of its kind, showcasing many of the state’s top senior football players. Many of the state’s top high school football coaches will also be involved in the game,” he added.
Head coach of the West team will be Will Hester of Ravenwood High School. His counterpart for the East team is Hayden Chandley of David Crockett High School.
Twenty-one cheerleaders from multiple schools who have earned All-Star status will also be a part of the week. Cheerleaders for this event must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average, submitted an application that lists their community service and write an essay. Members of this year’s group come from as far east as Morristown and as far west as Newbern in Dyer County.
Additionally, college coaches from multiple states will be attending these sessions, checking for players they might have overlooked during the recruiting season.
“Thanks to the East-West All-Star Classic for choosing Montgomery County again through 2023. Their return is a testimony to the people who live here who always go out of their way to make our visitors feel welcome. I hope we take this opportunity to watch these young athletes giving it their all out on the field,” said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden.
“The Tennessee East-West-All-Star Classic brings together some of the best young athletes our state has to offer, and we are excited to welcome them to Clarksville,” said Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts. “I encourage the community to welcome these All-Stars and show our support as they give their all in this one-of-a-kind showcase at Austin Peay State University.”
Kickoff for the game is 7:00 p.m. at Fortera Stadium. General admission tickets are $10 each for ages three and up. Anyone with a valid Military I.D. will receive free admission. Area high school football players who wear their high school jerseys and are accompanied by one of their coaches may attend the game for free.
About Visit Clarksville
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourist Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influence tourism in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions and group tours, and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. Visit Clarksville is governed by a nine-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.