Super 6 Moving to Auburn and Tuscaloosa

Auburn, Ala.—The Super 6 Alabama High School State Championship football games will be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

The Super 6, which is the state championship for classes 1A-6A, was a three-day event held at Legion Field in Birmingham each year from 1996 to 2008. On Wednesday the Alabama High School Athletic Association voted to move the games to Auburn and Tuscaloosa for the next six years.

Since Auburn will be the host site for the Iron Bowl in odd years, the Super 6 will be played at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the University of Alabama campus in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

"I'd like to thank everybody for the collaborative efforts by everybody to make this work," Auburn head coach football Gene Chizik said on Wednesday. "For me personally it's really neat to have a Super 6 here in Auburn because this is a great community--Auburn, Opelika and the surrounding areas. Not only are we going to benefit from this economically and things of that nature, but also just guys getting a feel for Auburn University whether you're a student athlete or whether you're a prospective student."

Meetings between the cities of Auburn and Opelika and the AHSAA began in April 2008. The bid was submitted on Feb. 15 and the AHSAA announced on Wednesday that it was a done deal.

Auburn/Opelika and Tuscaloosa also submitted a bid to become the host sites for the state basketball championship games, but did not win that event.

"This culminates a year of effort, work, meetings and trips back and forth to Montgomery and Birmingham," said Ron Anders, Chairman of Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau Sports Council. "We're certainly thrilled by the announcement this afternoon that Auburn will be hosting the Super 6 in the years of 2010, 2012 and 2014.

"With the partnership of our two cities, our athletic department and our university, we think we're going to give the children the perfect field of dreams to finish their high school football careers out on," Anders added.

Auburn Mayor Bill Ham said that he's thrilled by the news.

"This is truly a partnership between Auburn University, the city of Auburn, the Tourism Bureau and the city of Opelika," he explained. "We've worked closely with the mayor in Tuscaloosa and I know Ron has worked with their sports groups.

"We know it's going to be great for Lee County, for Auburn and Opelika, the entire area, for athletics, for our economic development efforts, and we're thrilled."

Auburn University Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said that deal was first presented to him during the fall of 2008 and that it was an easy decision to have the Super 6 played on the Auburn campus at Jordan-Hare.

"We were very excited about it," Jacobs noted. "We think that the hospitality here in the community and the reputation that the community has for hosting events and the opportunity for us to have these high school students on campus, not only from a football recruiting standpoint but for the exposure to Auburn, we thought it was a great idea.

"Not only the economic side of it, which we're so glad to partner in," Jacobs added, "but the opportunity to have prospective college students come to campus and have a chance to tour Auburn and look at it with their parents--band members, cheerleaders and whatever it may be--to have them on campus is great. We all believe as a part of the Opelika and Auburn family if we get people on campus there is something special--a special spirit here."

The Southeastern Conference moved the Iron Bowl date from two weeks before the SEC Championship game to the week before starting in 2007. With Alabama playing in the championship in 2008, the Crimson Tide was playing at the same time as Prattville and Hoover in the 6A title game at Legion Field.

Unlike previous years for the Super 6 where two games were played on Thursday, two on Friday and two on Saturday, three games will be held Thursday and three on Friday. Kickoff times will be 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on both days.

The site of the Super 6 will continue to hold a high school coaching clinic. Starting in 2009 it will begin on Wednesday night with a kickoff celebration and banquet and last through Friday.

Not only having potential recruits on campus, Chizik said it'll help in-state recruiting efforts having high school coaches in town as well.

"If you're coupling that with a coaching convention and a coaching clinic, if that's the way it's going to unfold and I don't have the details yet, that's huge," Chizik noted. "That's huge for us. We're able to have all of these guys, which we probably have a relationship with them anyway, but obviously the more times you're around them, especially on your home turf, that's better. That's huge. It sounds to me like there has been a lot of thought on the days that you're playing the games."

In years that Auburn is the site of the Super 6, team chaplain Chette Williams and the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) will hold a breakfast for the high school coaches.

The city of Auburn and city of Opelika school systems will sponsor the event and let the competing schools use their facilities.

With the Iron Bowl being played annually on the last Saturday in November, the Super 6 will be played the following Thursday and Friday. Alabama visits Auburn in 2009, but starting in 2010 the Super 6 will be an opportunity to aid with in-state recruiting for Chizik.

"They get to see this community," Chizik explained. "Part of our university and one of the biggest selling points that we have as coaches trying to sell our university is the whole thing. The community. If your child goes off to college (at Auburn) right now they're going to be in a community that's very safe. It's an environment that is very conducive for not only going to college. It's very safe and it makes parents really feel at home because this is a family environment.

"For all of the opportunities whether you're talking about a football player or not, for the exposure for our university, for somebody who wants to play in the band, for somebody that wants to be a cheerleader or just go to school, period," the head coach added. "If normally they wouldn't have the opportunity to come here, they can come here and get a feel for this place. I think it's great. I think it's really neat.

"Obviously and selfishly for me from a football standpoint, it's a no-brainer. They get to be in Jordan-Hare and be in the locker rooms and all of those things that go along with recruiting. You're looking at 12 teams probably with a lot of really good football players that get some free exposure for us is a great thing."

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