Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Butler-Mallard Creek season-opening football game moved to Memorial Stadium

The highly anticipated season-opening football game between Mallard Creek and Butler high schools will be played at Memorial Stadium Aug. 17.

The game was originally scheduled for Butler. Bulldogs coach Brian Hales said the game was moved after officials studied the crowd from last year’s game and determined that hosting at Butler, which seats about 2,500, could potentially mean turning away fans. About 4,000 showed up for last year’s game at Mallard Creek, which the Mavericks won 28-20.

Last season, Mallard Creek reached the N.C. 4AA semifinals. Butler reached the quarterfinals. Both teams were ranked nationally for much of the 2011 season and were 1-2 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll for much of the season as well.

Both teams are expected to compete for a state championship this season.

“We wanted to avoid having to turn anyone away,” Hales said. “That was the impetus for moving down there. We even talked about a presale of tickets, but we play two games before school even starts, so trying to sell tickets without anyone at school would’ve been a challenge.”

Mecklenburg County schools have long played games at Memorial Stadium, though none were played there last year while the stadium was closed for repairs. Mecklenburg County system athletics director Sue Doran said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools could possibly schedule other games at Memorial this season.