, Corbin, KY

January 15, 2013

The Border Bowl is all grown up

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Chris Parsons

There’s no prouder feeling in the world than when you watch your child do something that you had hoped was possible.

From the time our kids are small, we have hopes and aspirations as to what life will bring them or what they will grow in to as they mature into adults.

Saturday afternoon when I pulled into Williamsburg and got closer to Taylor Stadium, I couldn’t help but think how proud those in charge of the Border Bowl must be.

What was once just a random thought in some sports fan's head is now a grown-up showcase for high school seniors. If you don’t believe me, feel free to ask anyone that attended the game and experienced the atmosphere that surrounded the event.

The first time I covered the Border Bowl I can remember pulling into the parking lot and having my choice as to how close I wanted to park to the stadium.

Saturday, I had to sneak into a lot that was already full and park illegally (I know, arrest me) just to keep from having to take a cab from downtown Williamsburg. Plus it was raining a little bit and I had a fairly expensive camera that I didn’t want to get wet.

When I approached the entrance at Border Bowl I, I was greeted by a couple of gate workers trying to keep themselves busy as fans wandered in a few at a time to catch a glimpse of the action as kickoff approached. Recognizing me, the gate workers just motioned me in and told me to enjoy.

Saturday when I got to the game, the scene was much different from the first game. The fans were literally lined up into the parking lot waiting to get in. The good news is, just like always, the gate workers recognized me and just motioned me in, telling me to enjoy myself.

As I stood on the sideline waiting for things to get underway I looked around at the fans, players and the event organizers and I saw the same look on their faces.

The look was a look of enjoyment and satisfaction.

For the fans, I think they knew they were about to see a top-notch football game between two bitter rivals in Kentucky and Tennessee.

For the players, they were about to take one last run at playing high school football competitively. Some of them of course will go on to play at college, but for some of them it was the end of the line.

Nonetheless, every face was filled with determination as they ran onto the field.

For those in charge of the Border Bowl, the look on their face is the same look you see on a proud parent as their baby grows up to do something good.

Rest assured guys, you’re baby is all grown up and I think you should be very proud of the Border Bowl.