AISA announces tournament in Troy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2000

Sports Editor

June 14, 2000 10 PM

It’s official, and as far as the officials at the Alabama Independent School Association, the city of Troy and Troy State University are concerned, it was the only logical choice.

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Troy and Troy State University will be the site of the 2000 and 2001 AISA State Football Championships come Friday, Nov. 17. AISA has implemented a new format where its championship games for all three school classifications will be played on a neutral site, much like the public schools’ "Super Six" format in played in Birmingham every year.

The top six football teams from the three AISA classifications will descend upon Troy and TSU to end their season. Following them will be thousands of their loyal fans, cheerleaders and marching band students, which is enough to make any university or city interested in the prospects of hosting such an event.

Also in the running for the championship games was Selma, which already hosts a number of AISA events, but in the end, AISA executive director John Faircloth – a Brundidge native and Troy State alumnus – said their was little doubt which site was be the most inviting.

"I used a very objective system in presenting the case between the two sites," Faircloth said. "Troy was a solid favorite over Selma mainly because of the different features Troy and the Troy State University offers an event like this."

Faircloth said that Troy State and Troy weighed in well when studied for the main features his organization were looking for in a championship site.

Stadium facilities, lodging, restaurants, player exposure, accessibility for fans, media areas, locker room and training room areas where a number of the pluses Troy State had to offer. Most of which, Chapter Development Coordinator for Alumni Affairs Mike Amos, said wouldn’t have been possible without the foresight and generosity of the city of Troy.

"The main reason that they are attracted to Troy and the University is because the City of Troy went out on a limb and gave TSU $4 million to improve their facilities," Amos said Wednesday. "Without these improvements they wouldn’t be coming here. Now it is all starting to pay dividends. We’re getting a huge payday by bringing somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 or 15,000 football fans, representing six of the top AISA schools in the state."

Not only will this be a huge financial shot in the arm for the city, but the exposure it will give the university itself will be priceless in the way of potential students getting a first-hand look at the campus.

"Naturally we’re very excited to get to host this championship," TSU athletic media relations director Jim Horten said. "It will give us the opportunity to showcase not only our facilities, but also our campus to a large number of perspective students.

"I think one thing that the athletes and the fans will enjoy and will see first hand is a championship atmosphere," Horten continued. "At Troy State we’ve grown accustom to hosting championship events of this nature and have the facilities and know-how to put on a good show. There’s a genuine interest and desire here to make these championship games what it’s meant to be in the lives in the student athletes – not just a game, but an event."

The football championships are only a start. Now, with the door open with the AISA, Troy and the University have thoughts of bringing more events of this nature to the college and continuing to expand it’s facilities to better suit such things.

"This is an all-around good thing," Amos said. "It’s a positive economic boost to our community and it also gives us a chance to show them what Troy and TSU are all about. That way we can try and lure their basketball, baseball, track and other championships here as well. Every time these kids come on our campus it gives Troy State a chance to impress them and also helps us grow as well."