By Kyle Lovern
January 5, 2014
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Belfry seniors Sani Warren and Michael Barnes have been selected to play in the Kentucky – Tennessee Border Bowl on Saturday, January 11th.
Both were members of the Pirate’s 2013 Class 3A state championship team.
Warren was the quarterback and cornerback for Coach Philip Haywood’s squad. Barnes is a 6’4”, 280 pound offensive and defensive lineman.
Warren was named a first team all-state member of the Louisville Courier Journal team. He was also the Class 3A Player of the Year in Region IV, District 8.
The Border Bowl is a non-profit organization established to promote high school football in Kentucky and Tennessee. The objective is to provide an All-Star Game featuring the top players in Kentucky and Tennessee.
This game allows players to have the opportunity to play, practice, and battle it out for the rights to the border. It also allows high school seniors an opportunity to gain additional exposure and, perhaps, earn a scholarship for college. Each player must be nominated by his coach. All player profiles are reviewed by a panel of coaches from their home state to field the best possible team.
Players selected for the Border Bowl are treated as All-Stars from the time they check into camp until they leave for home. Each player receives a personalized jersey, food, and lodging for the entire time at camp, insurance for all activities, a sweat suit, t-shirt(s), honors banquet ticket, a Border Bowl Ring, and the opportunity to meet numerous former NFL, CFL, and NCAA coaches.
A standing room only crowd of more than 5,500 attended the first Border Bowl in 2008 at the University of the Cumberlands, James H. Taylor, II Stadium in Williamsburg, Kentucky. This included coaches representing more than 20 colleges. The Tennessee All-Stars won this inaugural Battle at the Border.
Despite a high temperature in the single digits for the day, a jam-packed stadium greeted the 2009 All-Stars. The second annual bowl marked our first live televised event. The Kentucky All-Stars went on to even the series with an impressive victory.
Year three brought expanded television coverage from Chattanooga, Tennessee along the I-75 corridor to Covington, Kentucky. The Tennessee All-Stars won this “rubbermatch” with both states fielding incredibly talented teams.
The week preceding Border Bowl Year 4 brought heavy snow and near 0 temperatures to the state. Border Bowl Chair Andy Croley secured equipment to clear snow from the practice fields and the University of the Cumberlands playing field. The All-Star Team from Tennessee extended its winning ways in the series in Year 4, going up three games to one to the Kentucky All-Stars.
The Tennessee All-Stars and the Kentucky All-Stars suited up in their respective orange and blue uniforms and battled once again in Year 5 for “bragging rights of the border” and once again the teams didn’t let the fans down giving the near 5,000 in attendance a show to remember. The Tennessee All-Stars battled a disproportionate number of penalties, a pair of missed field goals and several big Kentucky trick plays to come out on top 24 to 20. This win puts the Tennessee All-Stars up four games to one in the series.
Year 6 saw fans wondering if their Kentucky All-Stars could break the Tennessee All-Stars winning streak. Lafayette High School’s wide receiver Tranard Chester caught a 90-yard touchdown pass from Nelson County’s Dylan Beasley with 1:39 to go to give Kentucky’s All-Stars a come-from-behind 29-27 win against Tennessee. Bourbon County’s Kentayvus Hopkins and Perry County Central’s Austin Pray both scored rushing TDs, and Frankfort’s Aaron Jackson had a 40-yard interception return for a score. The series now stands at 4 games to 2 in favor of the Tennessee All-Stars.
Kickoff for this year’s game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
(Information for this story came from the Border Bowl web-site.)