VOL. 133 | NO. 180 | Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Thunderstorms, Lightning Cause Unprecedented Cancellation of Southern Heritage Classic Game
By Pete Wickham, Special to The Daily News
Rain didn’t hamper the Southern Heritage Classic’s parade Saturday morning, Sept. 8, but the main event was another matter.
The Jackson State University Prancing J-Settes perform for parade goers along Park Avenue on Saturday, Sept. 8, during the annual Southern Heritage Classic Parade. (Daily News/Jim Weber)
Persistent thunderstorms that hit the Mid-South just before the scheduled 6 p.m. kickoff forced SHC officials to cancel Saturday night’s 29th SHC game between Tennessee State and Jackson State at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
It is the first time in 29 years that the classic will not be played. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the 2001 game was rescheduled to Thanksgiving weekend. However, that option is not available this year with the University of Memphis hosting a home game against Houston on Friday Nov. 23.
There is no other chance to reschedule since Jackson State does not have a bye weekend on its schedule. Tennessee State is off Oct. 27, but JSU is on the road for a league game at Southern University that day.
Tennessee State University senior Leona Dunn leads other members of the school's Student Government Association in a chant for parade goers along Park Avenue Saturday, Sept. 8 during the annual Southern Heritage Classic Parade. (Daily News/Jim Weber)
“This is not only a huge disappointment to the fans but to myself, the Classic staff, both universities and the many ambassadors (volunteers) who work hard to organize it each year,” SHC founder Fred Jones said in a statement issued Sunday morning.
Ticketholders can get a refund where they purchased their tickets.
The 2019 Southern Heritage Classic, matching the same two schools, is set for Sept. 14. Jones, in his statement, said next year’s classic will be a “an exciting 5-day celebration that we know fans will enjoy.”