FORT MILL --
In what is the equal to preseason games, the 2012 local high school football season will kick off Saturday with the fourth annual Battle of the Border Scrimmage at Bob Jones Stadium.
The event will have eight teams playing two regular quarters of football each. Four South Carolina teams – Fort Mill, Nation Ford, Indian Land and Lancaster – will be matched up against four North Carolina teams – Charlotte Country Day, Harding, Myers Park and South Meck.
Games start at 5 p.m. with Indian Land facing Harding. They will be followed by Lancaster vs. Myers Park at 6 p.m. and then Nation Ford against Country Day at 7 p.m. Fort Mill will finish things out with South Meck starting at 8 p.m. Gates will open at 4 p.m.
Last year, weather was the victor in the scrimmage as only a game and-a-half was played before Fort Mill High Athletic Director Dwayne Hartsoe described it best saying, “the bottom fell out.”
Hartsoe and the Fort Mill Gridiron Club, which is hosting the event, are hoping for better weather this time around.
“That is one thing you can’t control,” Hartsoe said.
The money raised is going to the Gridiron club to benefit the Fort Mill High football program. The Gridiron Club has raised $60,000 in the past three years to help the program, which also benefits the ninth-grade and JV football squads.
This year’s goal is to raise $7,000, said Joe Swinford, Gridiron Club president.
“That would be a tremendous success,” he said.
Swinford said he would like the Gridiron Club to also start helping the middle school football teams in Fort Mill, but that would also depend on how much money is raised.
Swinford said he is estimating about 1,500 people at the football scrimmage, with the money from the gate benefiting each school.
“The gate will be split between all eight schools,” he said. “We are trying to get more people out so each school will receive a good part of the gate.”
One way the Gridiron would like to raise the money is through a different type of pigskin – good ol’ fashion BBQ. The Gridiron Club will be selling BBQ sandwiches and fries for $5.
The club is also taking orders for more than just sandwiches. They are selling a pound of BBQ for $12 and a 10-pound Boston butt for $40.
For more information, go to fortmillgridironclub.org.