On the heels of announcing that the city will host the 2017 Toyota East West All-Star Classic, Visit Clarksville officials have landed another state-wide football event for 2017. The Tennessee Future Stars will host their annual Tennessee-Kentucky games for seventh and eighth graders in Clarksville on June 17 at Austin Peay State University’s Fortera Stadium.
“We are excited to host another major football event here in Clarksville at Austin Peay,” said Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “I can’t emphasize enough how important the upgrades to Fortera Stadium and the cooperation of the APSU athletic staff have been to recruiting football events.”
Tryouts for seventh and eighth grade football players are held in cities throughout Tennessee in April, with teams being named on May 5. Teams, coaches and parents arrive in Clarksville on Wednesday, June 14 for three days of practice at Fortera Stadium. Kentucky teams arrive on Friday, June 16 and join their Tennessee counterparts for a social event that evening. Both games are televised and played on Saturday afternoon.
In total, Harrington expects about 5,800 visitors in Clarksville during the week, and estimates that hotel revenue, meals and other spending will top $3.4 million.
“You all have an outstanding facility at Austin Peay, and having our guys play on a Division One campus is a big goal for us,” said Tennessee Future Stars Executive Director Josh Jones. “This event is an excellent opportunity for middle schoolers to get an early start on exposure as they are heading into high school. We have a great relationship with Coach Healy and wanted to be in Clarksville. We came and visited campus and saw that you all will be a terrific host city. It’s a good match.”
“Future Stars is a good opportunity for kids to learn the fundamentals that will carry them through high school and potentially college,” said APSU Head Football Coach Will Healy. “It will help them gain confidence and grow more fully into who they are as a player. We want to make sure that this event is a fun opportunity and a rewarding experience for all of the kids who come to play football in this first-class stadium in this first-class city. Whether or not they ever advance to college or Division One football, we want them to enjoy their time here.”
Future Stars games are coached by former professional players, which makes the opportunity even more special for the young athletes. In 2016, the Tennessee head coach for seventh grade was Chris Wampler, former University of Tennessee Volunteer (1980-82) who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Eighth graders played for coach Todd Kelly, a former all-SEC University of Tennessee Volunteer (1989-92) who was a 1992 first round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers and a member of the Super Bowl XXIX winning 49er team.
The Future Stars games are played in alternating states each year, so Harrington hopes the event will be back in Clarksville in 2019. “There’s not a better venue–or a better city–in the State of Tennessee where these guys can play football and have this great experience. We’re going to do everything we can to keep the Future Stars games coming back to Clarksville.”
In February, Visit Clarksville announced that the Toyota All-Star East West Classic would take place in Clarksville in December. The All-Star Classic is organized by the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association (TACA) and is made up of the state’s top 88 senior football players.
About Visit Clarksville
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Tourism Commission was established by the State of Tennessee in 1979 to positively influences tourism in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area by promoting tourist attractions, hosting conventions, group tours and engaging in large-scale marketing efforts. In 2015, the organization adopted the Visit Clarksville brand. Visit Clarksville is governed by nine board of director members who are selected jointly by the City of Clarksville and Montgomery County Mayors and is funded by a portion of the local hotel-motel tax.