There will be some fans there on Friday night who will just be coming out for the sake of curiosity…Many fans will want to part of this historical moment with the game being played at Page for the first time ever in the history of this series…
Based on what the two teams have been able to do on the field this season, conventional wisdom tells you that Page at (6-1) will be the heavy favorite over Grimsley at (2-5)….
But this will not have any effect on the crowd because the fans want to come out and see what it is like, when the two teams line up at Page against each other, on the Varsity level for the first time…
We mentioned conventional wisdom up top and this Friday night at Marion Kirby Stadium may take on the character of a some sort of convention….
Quite a few people come back to town each year just for this game and the game has drawn crowds that have exceeded 10,000 fans over the years(at Grimsley’s Jamieson Stadium) and could we expect a crowd in that neighborhood for this year’s game at Page High School???
Page Athletic Director Rusty Lee told Joe Sirera of the News and Record,
“We’ve known for some time that the Page-Grimsley crowd has not been 10,000,” Lee said. “Before we submitted the idea to Grimsley about bringing it back to Page, we showed everybody what the numbers were and inflated them with people that are walk-up.
“We know our facility will seat 6,900,” Lee added. “That’s shoulder to shoulder, bottom to bottom on a 24-inch seat. But we have a lot of people that come to our games who never sit down.”
We have seen very large crowds at Page for playoff football games in recent years and I remember being there for the Page-Matthews Butler and the Page-Mallard Creek games back in 2011 when Page was in-route to a perfect season and the 2011 NCHSAA 4-AA Football Championship….Mallard Creek had tailgaters in town by 5pm and they had a band set up and playing music in the visitor’s parking lot at Page…
Rusty Lee to Joe Sirera on those two contests at Page,
“We know for a fact that when we played (Charlotte) Mallard Creek here and when we played (Matthews) Butler, those two weeks one of those was about 6,900 and the other was about 7,600,” Lee said. “We knew we could do that. It’s a little different because we have to separate the crowds(for the Grimsley game) and that takes away a little bit of the standing room.”
I can remember those big crowds at Grimsley from over the years when the rivalry really got heated up and I always will remember the Greensboro Police Department and the traffic cops that would line the field to keep the students off of the field after the game and the Grimsley students would rush the field after a win and they did not come often, but when they did, the celebration was on….Whirlies broke up a long losing drought back in 1999 and went on to win a few more games in the early 2000’s, but as of late, Page has owned the gate….
Well not really, Page would get the gate every other year, as they would be the home team away from home, at Grimsley every other year, but this year a new trend is about to begin….
You can also look back to the Dudley-Smith games that were played for a period of time over at Aggie Stadium, on the N.C. A&T campus and those games for about a 2-3 year stretch, drew crowds of 20.000-plus fans…
Dudley and Smith thought that both schools would be better served to bring this game back home to their respective campuses and with the recent expansion, over at Dudley’s Tarpley Stadium, this has proven to be a good overall move/decision…
The Page-Grimsley game will be at Page this year and then next year the Grimsley-Page game will be held back over at Grimsley….
Page has a chance to host the big event and for the sake of reality, you still wonder how many fans can they get in there over at the Marion Kirby Stadium???
(Remember what Rusty Lee said, “We have a lot of people that come to our games who never sit down.”“.)
We saw 7,600 back in 2011 when James Summers and his mates were going full throttle and now how long far will they let the gas pedal go this Friday night and do you think they might have to cut off the crowd or stop selling tickets at a certain point???
Seems like this would be a nice problem to have if you are in the business of funding a high school athletics program and to go along with the funding, the real fun will be on the field, with it still being anybody’s game prior to the first whistle…Then when that first whistle blows, look out from that point forward, because there are going to be some points on that scoreboard….
I am going to put the number at 8,500 fans and cap it off at that and then see how it all goes from there and you really need to be there to soak it all up and take it all in this Friday night at the Marion Kirby Stadium, on the Page High School campus…..
This will be a historical moment and one that should not be missed if you are a true Page or Grimsley fan, since you know for certain that they will be talking about the nature of how this game came about and how the crowd turned out and they will be talking about this event/game for many years to come….
How many times are you able to be a part of a first….You never know, this might be your last chance on Friday….Kickoff 7:30 at Marion Kirby Stadium and get there to get a parking spot and a seat…
*****And keep in mind what AD Rusty Lee said up above, “We have a lot of people that come to our games who never sit down.”*****