The Springfield Yellow Jackets will play a football game on television for the third year in a row.
The Aug. 30 contest between Springfield and Clarksville will be carried by WUXP MyTV30 as part of the station’s “Friday Night Rivals” series.
It is the 96th meeting between the programs. Springfield has a 54-37-4 record in the series dating back to 1919, according to records Springfield coach Dustin Wilson received from local historian Kenneth Hawkins.
“It’s crazy that the schools have existed that long, let alone played football 96 times,” Wilson said. “If you a traditionalist and like high school sports, Springfield-Clarksville is a great rivalry.”
The two teams used to duke it out in the Northern Central Conference. Clarksville is now in 5A and Springfield plays in 4A, but Wilson has kept the matchup going in recent years.
“I always make sure that Clarksville knows we want to continue playing each other,” Wilson said. “Coach Isaac Shelby is aware of that tradition, so it’s an easy sell.”
The last two meetings between Springfield and Greenbrier have been televised by MyTV30. The Yellow Jackets also appeared on the station when they battled Greeneville in the 2017 4A BlueCross Bowl.
The game will give Springfield another chance to showcase its brand and facilities in front of thousands of viewers.
“I’m always trying to push our school out there,” Wilson said. “It’s nice to show off our field and our facilities a little bit. We’re grateful to MyTV30 for picking us.”
There are other benefits to playing in the game, including entry into a $10,000 scholarship contest sponsored by Nissan of Cool Springs and MyTV30.
Each school that participates in a “Friday Night Rivals” game can nominate one player for the award, and the winner is chosen at the end of the season. Springfield defensive tackle Benjamin Galluzzi, the school's valedictorian, won the scholarship last year.
“It’s a pretty rigorous application process,” Wilson said. “Benny’s resume was impeccable. They said he stood out last year.”
Wilson said his team won’t need much motivating to be ready for Clarksville. It will be the team’s home opener after the Yellow Jackets begin their season at Wilson Central Aug. 23.
“When you tell them we’re on TV, it’s almost like you don’t even need to practice that week because they’re going to play so hard,” Wilson said. “You do things differently when you’re being watched.