Polk, Spartanburg football to clash in Border Showcase Classic IX
Polk County and Spartanburg high schools rarely meet in football competition, but the two varsity squads will line up against each other tonight, Friday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. to lead off the Border Showcase Classic IX at Gaffney (SC) High School.
The event will feature three match-ups, each a complete half game. At 8 p.m., it’s Erwin vs. Byrnes and at 9 p.m., Gaffney takes on Woodruff.
The event is the brainchild of Wolverines’ coach Bruce Ollis, now in his 34th year of coaching, and his 12th at Polk.
“I have coached in a lot of different places,” said Ollis, “and around a lot of quality players.”
For him, it was natural to bring many of those quality players into head-to-head competition.
“It was just something I felt would enhance high school football in this area,” he said. He felt that the Border Showcase would bring together teams that seldom played against each other.
Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs hosted the first two events. Since then, hosts have included Byrnes, Crest, Gaffney, T.C. Robertson and Shelby. In addition to giving players and coaches a chance to mix it up with new opponents, it gives, noted Ollis, a chance for each host school to take in some extra revenue. It also gives fans an opportunity to see new talent.
The first Border Showcase Classic featured eight teams, including a game between Polk and Broome.
“It was a big deal,” said Ollis, looking back on the first Classic. “Each game is a complete half, with referees and three time-outs. It’s a real game for one complete half.”
Next Friday evening (Aug. 23), Polk begins its regular season, hosting Shelby at 7:30 p.m.