Clarksville, TN – Nearly 100 senior football players representing over 60 high schools from across the state will compete in Clarksville for the Tennessee East-West All-Star Classic at Austin Peay State University’s Fortera Stadium on Friday, December 8. Players will arrive in the city on Tuesday, December 5 to begin daily practice.

“The Tennessee East-West All-Star Classic is a prime opportunity to showcase Clarksville to Tennesseans who may have never visited before,” said Visit Clarksville Board Chairman Jerry Allbert. “We are especially grateful to have top-notch facilities like Austin Peay to host these young athletes. As always, we appreciate their partnership."

While players are at their daily practice, their families shop, dine and explore the city. Local sales tax from spending surrounding this event is expected to be more than $250,000. Of that, over $170,000 will go directly to the school system. This furthers Visit Clarksville’s mission to promote Clarksville to travelers and recruit events that will generate new tax revenue.

The Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association, or TACA, first selected Clarksville to host the football event in 2017. After years of positive experiences, TACA officials and Visit Clarksville have renewed their commitment to host the game at Fortera Stadium through 2026. Since 2017, participants, parents and visiting officials have spent more than $1.9 million on lodging, food, transportation and other travel expenses in the Clarksville community.

“We are extremely excited about the talented players participating in this year’s matchup,” said Bill Marbet, Executive Director of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association. “The game is considered the state’s top event of its kind, showcasing many of the state’s top senior football players and high school football coaches.” 

The head coach of the West team will be Gene Robinson from Germantown High School. His counterpart for the East team is Thomas Osteen from Marshall County High School. 

Additionally, college coaches from multiple states will be attending these sessions, checking for players they might have overlooked during the recruiting season.

Seventeen cheerleaders from multiple schools who have earned All-Star status will also be part of Friday’s game. Cheerleaders for this event must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average, submitted an application that lists their community service and written an essay.

“I am excited about these young athletes returning to our community! With the exception of 2020, due to COVID-19, they have been competing in Montgomery County since 2017. This is a testimony to our Visit Clarksville team and the excellent job they do of bringing sports events like the East-West All-Star Classic to our community. Thank you to the people of Montgomery County who always make our visitors feel welcome. Please support these athletes, their coaches and their families by watching as they share their athletic talents,” said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden.

“It’s great that we have this enviable opportunity to host and showcase some of the best young athletes in Tennessee, right here in Clarksville. The Tennessee East-West All-Star Classic affords us a great opportunity to showcase Clarksville, as well,” said Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts. “To all of these athletes, their families and supporters, we say welcome to Clarksville. We hope you enjoy your stay.”

Among the players is Will Zielinski, an offensive tackle from Clarksville High School.

Kickoff for the game is 7:00 p.m. at Fortera Stadium. General admission tickets are $8 each for ages three and up. Anyone with a valid Military ID will receive free admission. Area high school football players who wear their high school jerseys 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. In 2022, tourism spending in Montgomery County totaled $371 million, according to an annual report from the US Travel Association, Tourism Economics, and U.S. Census Bureau.