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Red Carpet Bowl gets earlier start time

The Red Carpet Bowl will get started a little bit earlier this year.

The kickoff of the annual season-opening doubleheader has been moved up 30 minutes, to 5:30 p.m., Red Carpet Bowl committee chairman Dr. Calvin Masterson announced Monday at an organizational meeting.

The move, Masterson said, was designed to keep the event from going deep into the night. The committee needed and got approval from the Mississippi High School Activities Association for the earlier kickoff.

“From a time standpoint, the last game was usually getting over at 11:30 or 12. The committee approached the MHSAA about an earlier start and they approved it,” Masterson said. “Most high school games have water breaks every six minutes and we give them more water breaks. We have them every four minutes. But the biggest thing is trying to get it done at a decent time.”

This is not the first time in recent years that the Red Carpet Bowl has strayed from its traditional 6 p.m. kickoff. In 2014, when Porters Chapel Academy played Union Christian to make it a tripleheader, the event started at 3 p.m.

Citing safety concerns because of the intense summer afternoon heat — that early game in 2014 was played on a 100-degree day — the committee reverted back to a doubleheader format the following year. There are no plans to add a third game to the lineup again, but Masterson said the starting time might remain at 5:30 if it is well received.

“We always encourage attendance, because all of our money goes to scholarships. So the more people there are, the more scholarships we can give out,” Masterson said. “If it slows attendance, we will look at the issue for next year.”

The 2017 Red Carpet Bowl is scheduled for Aug. 18 at Warren Central’s Viking Stadium. The first game will feature Vicksburg High taking on Oxford, the Class 5A runner-up the past three seasons. The nightcap, which will begin at approximately 8 p.m., is Warren Central vs. Clarksdale.

Advance tickets are $10 and will go on sale Aug. 1 at Vicksburg and Warren Central High Schools and Junior High Schools, the Vicksburg Warren School District athletic department office on Mission 66, any Red Carpet Bowl committee member, and Michel’s Record Shop at 1417 Washington Street.

Tickets at the gate on game day will be $15. All tickets are good for both Red Carpet Bowl games.

2017 RED CARPET BOWL
• Aug. 18, at Warren Central
• Vicksburg vs. Oxford, 5:30 p.m.
• Warren Central vs. Clarksdale, 8 p.m.
• Tickets go on sale Aug. 1, and are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate. Tickets are good for both games. Advance tickets will be available at Vicksburg and Warren Central High Schools and Junior Highs, the VWSD athletic office, any Red Carpet Bowl committee member, and Michel’s Record Shop on Washington Street.
• 2017 Warren County football schedules/B2

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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