Area football fans famished for some pigskin will be able to wet their appetite tonight at Porter Stadium where Hannibal High School will host its annual Jamboree.
âI think thereâs going to be a lot of people here, which is good. With having six schools here Iâm expecting over 1,000 people,â said Clint Graham, HHS activities director. âIt should be a good atmosphere and a lot of fun.â
Joining the Pirates will be Highland, Mark Twain, Clark County, Palmyra and Bowling Green.
âWe bring in local teams which adds flair to it,â said Mark St Clair, head football coach at HHS. âThe fact we can get the local communities, really thatâs what high school athletics is all about, getting local communities together on a Friday night and having a little fun. I think it builds camaraderie.â
âWeâre happy to host them,â added Graham. âItâs been a positive over the past several years. We look to continue it in the future.â
According to St Clair Hannibalâs Jamboree dates back to 1997.
âSince then itâs been a chance to play against somebody else at least for a few plays,â he said, explaining that each team is allotted 36 plays on offense and defense.
On the east end of the stadium the order of play will be: Highland vs. Mark Twain; Mark Twain vs. Clark County; Clark County vs. Highland. On the west end the schedule is: Palmyra vs. Bowling Green; Hannibal vs. Bowling Green; Hannibal vs. Palmyra.
What happens during the Jamboree can serve as a learning tool for coaches.
âI think we learn quite a bit from it because every now and then weâll say, âHey we need to adjust this. We need to adjust that. Hey, this kid looked good here, or maybe we need to move somebody to another position.â Itâs just an evaluation tool,â said St Clair. âFor every team it gives them the ability to evaluate their kids, evaluate what theyâre doing, see where theyâre at. You can look at film and make some corrections.â
At least in the Pirate camp, St Clair doesnât go overboard in terms of preparation for the Jamboree.
âYouâve got to be careful about how much emphasis you put on it,â he said. âWe donât scheme for it; we donât practice for the Jamboree. Itâs just a scrimmage to us, but the kids still look forward to going against somebody else. It adds a little bit more excitement not going against the same people youâve been going against the last two weeks.â
The gates open at 5 p.m. today with play starting at 6 p.m.