The PickrenZONE Invitational
by Dave Pickren
May 16, 2001
Hey… Wait a minute, I have an idea !!!!
For 8 weeks we have argued about who are the top teams in the state right now, we have argued over who beat who while Team A beat Team B but Lost to Team C who lost to Team.
We have argued Low Country versus the Upstate, The Pee Dee vs. the Midlands and everybody seems to hate Gaffney.
Of course the problem is that no one has played every team or even most of the team. In fact if you are from Charleston, you haven't been north of mile marker 199 on Interstate 26. Marlboro County has also caught a lot of grief over the schedule and no one knows exactly how Union would play against the big boys.
Have a got a plan for you!
Introducing the 1st annual PickrenZONE Pigskin Classic brought to you by Carolina First, your local Chevy Dealer, All State Insurance, Coke Cola and McDonalds. Heck anybody that wants to send us money can sponsor our game and we do mean anybody. We have no pride and will take everybody's money. Just make the check out to PickrenZONE Pigskin Classic c/o Dave Pickren. I will make sure the money goes where it is supposed to.
A few facts
These are not scrimmages or jamborees but real games that count in the standings and in the points. The games are played on a neutral field with bands, cheerleaders, the whole 9 yards. We are going to play 6 games in 2 days between the best in South Carolina and raise a little money in the process. In Texas they have been holding these classic games for a few years and they have been successful. This year they drew 45,000 to the Astrodome for a doubleheader and over 30,000 to Mesquite (Dallas, TX) for a Saturday tripleheader. Surly the South Carolina High School League can see the wisdom and sanction my little party. Heck if they are nice enough, I will let ole Ronnie sit in my private luxury box.
OK now we have a game and a title. When, where, how and how many teams are we going to invite to play in this thing?
Williams Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC.
It is in the middle of the state 2 hours from just about anywhere. Great facility and lost of free parking. There is even a Bojangles across the street for tailgating so they can sponsor my game also just as long as that annoying lady in the commercial stays away.
Friday and Saturday, August 25 26 of the past year.
This was the first weekend of the season. We play also on Saturday so that all the schools can attend and not worry about missing school and because we want 6 games this year, USC and Clemson are a week away from starting so there is no interference from the colleges. The games on TV from the colleges are always lame and the NFL is still 2 weeks away so we have the whole weekend to our self.
$6 for all 6 games. That's a dollar a game to walk in the door. The ticket is sold for all 6 games and you can leave and come back if you want.
My dream schedule:
Friday 6:00 PM
Union vs. Batesburg - Leesville
3A and 2A battle to see who is the best of the smaller schools
Friday 8:30 PM
Greenwood vs. Stratford
The defending 4A champs tangle in a battle of 2 teams that won the hardware last year in Columbia.
Saturday 11:00 AM
Dorman vs. Fort Dorchester
The upstart Patriots are welcomed to Big 16 play against the runner up from 1999.
Saturday 2:00 PM
Spartanburg vs. Marlboro County
The perennial powerhouse Vikings take on the 1998 champ in a bruising battle
Saturday 5:00 PM
Gaffney vs. Lexington
Satterfield looks for revenge against Gaffney. Lexington gets a chance to prove themselves early
Saturday 8:00 PM
Summerville vs. Aiken
The 1998 champ against the 99 runners up in a wide-open attacking game.
These are my match ups that I have dreamed up. I tried to avoid rematches and games that may occur in the 2000 playoffs. We invited 2A; 3A and 4A teams and we included all the champs from last year. 12 schools representing every corner of the state. Old power houses and new arrivals. I have it all and for $6 you can witness it firsthand.
How much money did we make?
I figure we sell at least 30,000 tickets at $6 and add an additional $75,000 for sponsors, concessions and program ads. That gives us revenues of $250,000. Split the money between the teams that participated and save a big chunk for the rest of the high schools in the state. I never want to hear again about a team canceling their season because they could not afford gas for the bus. I just made the SCHSL a cool quarter