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Troy to host All-Star events

The annual North-South All-Star football game, scheduled for the first time next December, will be played at Movie Gallery Stadium on the campus of Troy University according to an announcement by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association last Friday.

The announcement was made at a press conference in the press box of the newly renovated stadium hours before the 7 p.m. kickoff of the last summer game.

The game, which has been a part of the All-Star Sports Week, was moved to Troy for the first time this summer because of renovations to Cramton Bowl.

Ken Blankenship, director of the AHSADCA, said while negotiating to find a replacement location for this year’s game they found what could be a permanent home for the event.

&uot;When we found out that we could not have this years game in Cramton Bowl we contacted Troy University and the City of Troy, and knew right away that this would be a great place to hold the event,&uot; said Blankenship. &uot;The City of Montgomery has been good to the athletic directors and Coaches Association. They have tried to keep this game, but the bottom line is that we feel like this stadium will allow us to do several things for this event.&uot;

Blankenship also announced December’s game would feature high school juniors for the first time.

This was established to follow the pattern of other current all-star games.

&uot;We play juniors in all of our other all-star events and it has been a tremendous success,&uot; said Blankenship. &uot;So we feel like we must do the same with football.&uot;

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said it was an honor to host the event this year and looked forward to future games at the stadium.

&uot;We are proud to be hosting the all-star game tonight,&uot; said Lunsford. &uot;We are especially excited about the entire event moving here in December. Coaches and players will be in Troy for the entire week, giving us an opportunity to showcase our city and Troy University to the entire state.&uot;

An exact date has not been set for the game, but it is expected to take place between Dec. 16 and 23.

The Coaching School and all other all-star games and activities of All-Star Week will remain in its summer time slot. Other all-star contests are played in baseball, softball, volleyball, and girls and boys basketball and soccer.

The changes associated with the football game may not be the only changes coming for all-star events.

Since the Montgomery Civic Center will undergo some major renovations beginning later this summer, the AHSADCA is searching for another city to host Sports Week for 2005 and 2006.

&uot;For the next two years we’ll have to find another home,&uot; said Blankenship. &uot;We must have a civic center comparable to Montgomery with at least two large meeting rooms that can seat 90 and 10 others that can seat 200. That’s just for the coaching school.&uot;

Blankenship said sufficient outdoor facilities would be needed for sports as well.

&uot;For the all-star games we need fields for softball, baseball and soccer that will attract large crowds and arenas for basketball and volleyball,&uot; said Blankenship.

The AHSADCA operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Membership includes coaches of all AHSAA sports as well as administrators of member schools.