HHS hosting annual Jamboree tonight

A pass is thrown down field during a drill on Thursday afternoon at Porter Stadium. The Pirates host their annual football Jamboree tonight.

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.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people here, which is good. With having six schools here I’m expecting over 1,000 people,” said Clint Graham, HHS activities director. “It should be a good atmosphere and a lot of fun.”

Joining the Pirates will be Highland, Mark Twain, Clark County, Palmyra and Bowling Green.

“We bring in local teams which adds flair to it,” said Mark St Clair, head football coach at HHS. “The fact we can get the local communities, really that’s 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.”

“We’re happy to host them,” added Graham. “It’s been a positive over the past several years. We look to continue it in the future.”

According to St Clair Hannibal’s Jamboree dates back to 1997.

“Since then it’s been a chance to play against somebody else at least for a few plays,” 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.

“I think we learn quite a bit from it because every now and then we’ll say, ‘Hey 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.’ It’s just an evaluation tool,” said St Clair. “For every team it gives them the ability to evaluate their kids, evaluate what they’re doing, see where they’re at. You can look at film and make some corrections.”

At least in the Pirate camp, St Clair doesn’t go overboard in terms of preparation for the Jamboree.

“You’ve got to be careful about how much emphasis you put on it,” he said. “We don’t scheme for it; we don’t practice for the Jamboree. It’s 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 you’ve been going against the last two weeks.”

The gates open at 5 p.m. today with play starting at 6 p.m.


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