Tate, Washington Face Off Friday Night In First City Bowl At Wahoos Stadium

November 2, 2023

written by Bill Vilona

The Blue Wahoos have always tried to seek ways to be innovative with special
events at their stadium outside of baseball season.

The inaugural First City Bowl game, presented by Cox Communications on Friday at 7 p.m. represents the latest one.

With its unique backdrop and configuration, the event is more than just a season-finale, high school football game between the Tate Aggies and the Washington Wildcats.

It’s the first time that Blue Wahoos Stadium has staged a regular-season, prep football game, utilizing both schools’ bands and other components to provide a different kind of experience. “I think this really meets our mission, which includes creating a community type of event like this game,” said Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith, whose idea it was a year ago to bring two area high school teams for a game with a special name. “We thought it would be fun to name it the First City Bowl and get people excited about it and hopefully we will have many more of these games. “What you want is all these kids playing Friday to one day bring their own kids out to the stadium and say, ‘I played on this field.’ It’s another way to create those memories for life.”

The admission price, online ticketing, game operations matches the way all high school games are played in this area. The stadium will utilize all of its concession stands. The video board will have the game action. Cox Communications is providing a televised broadcast available on its YurView channel for Cox subscribers. With it being Washington’s home game, the Wildcats will be in the Blue Wahoos clubhouse and their band will perform pregame, along with both school bands performing at halftime. Tate will be in
the visiting team clubhouse at the stadium. “It’s been fun for me to see how open these two schools have been to this event,” said Shannon Hannah, the Blue Wahoos events manager. “They seem to be happy for the partnership. “Since we first announced in
ugust this game being played here and calling it the First City Bowl, the schools have been super responsive, excited and enthusiastic about to play the game here. “It’s a community experience,” said Hannah, who worked with both schools to handle logistic challenges. “We have never done this before and I think the kids are going to be excited to play here and have the experience of playing here.”

For both teams, the game represents a positive way to end the season. Washington won its season-opener, but has since lost the other seven games. “I think it was an easy trade (when proposal to was made months ago) on moving our home game to a professional baseball stadium that is one of the best in the country,” said Wildcats coach Ryan Onkka. “This will be our senior night moved to a new place. That will be a unique experience and a great first- time experience for these kids. “To us, it’s like our Super Bowl. That is how we will view it to build off and welcome it.”

Tate (4-5) will have a chance to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2017. The Aggies have already made significant strides under head coach Rhett Summerford, working his second season at Tate. The Aggies had won just one game in each of the previous four seasons. “It’s huge,” Summerford said, after his team dropped its third consecutive game in a loss at Escambia. “I am so glad we are playing there (at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Because it gives our kids some excitement. “We need some excitement now. Our guys are still playing their tails off, but we’re just not doing some of the things we were doing earlier this year. “We are playing in a phenomenal venue. It’s a great way to send our seniors out. We are going to prepare and play as hard as we can to play our best.”

WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium
TICKETS: Available online at www.bluewahoos.com/tickets. Or stadium box
INFORMATION: www.bluewahoos.com/firstcitybowl.
PROMOTION: Early-arriving fans will receive special light-up bracelets,
courtesy of Cox Communications. There is a limited number.
GAME INFO: Seating is general admission, no reserved seating. Both teams’
bands will perform at halftime. Other special activities will occur.


2 Responses to “Tate, Washington Face Off Friday Night In First City Bowl At Wahoos Stadium”

  1. Taco on November 3rd, 2023 7:46 am

    Let’s go Aggies!! Y’all got this!
    Class 80 alumni

  2. dave lamb on November 2nd, 2023 10:25 pm