Danville honoring Bate High School at Friday football game
History won’t be forgotten.
Danville football will honor Bate High School at its game on Friday night against Garrard County.
John W. Bate started the school, which was first named Danville Colored School. It was renamed Bate High School in 1912, and John W. Bate taught until 1941. When schools integrated in 1964, the school was renamed Bate Junior High. In August, the school was officially renamed John W. Bate Middle School.
“We’re doing a special deal for Bate High School and all of Bate,” Danville head coach Clay Clevenger said. “We’re going to have some of their old football players as honorary captains on Friday night, honor some of the alums during the game.”
John W. Bate started in one room and grew the school to more than 600 students by the time he retired.
Bate High School was a force in high school football, winning two state championships in the 1930s.
Clevenger said he’d like for his team to remember that past and tradition.
“Understand the history. They had a really strong athletic tradition at Bate High School, in football in particular,” Clevenger said. “We’ve honored certain people in our athletic hall of fame. But I just felt like we need to keep that legacy as a part of our program.”
Against Garrard County
The Admirals will face a unique test Friday, going up against the Golden Lions.
Garrard runs the ball more than 90 percent of the time, and when they do throw, it’s often a big play. Garrard quarterback Connor Isaccs is 12-for-22, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He averages more than 30 yards per completion.
“They don’t throw it often, but when they do throw it, they get big plays,” Clevenger said. “They have quite a few scoring plays off of their passing game. You’ve got to have good eye discipline in the secondary. They do a good job making your secondary come up and have to help play the run. When you do that, you’re leaving yourself open to the play action pass. You’ve got to have good.”
It’ll be up to the Admirals’ secondary — led by seniors D’Mauriae VanCleave, Tanner Ford and David Walker — to stay disciplined. Those three have been elite ball hawks this year, combining for seven interceptions this season (two were returned for touchdowns).
Defensive tackle Christian Hill missed last week’s game at Waggener due to a broken thumb and is “day-to-day,” Clevenger said.
With or without Hill, Clevenger wants his team to be more physical than they were against Waggener. The Admirals won 49-46.
“I don’t feel like we played as well as we needed to play last Friday at Louisville Waggener. We need to really work on being more physically, getting to the football better on the defensive side.”
With that said, the Admirals’ offense was clicking: Zach Thornton finished 19-for-29 with 255 yards and three touchdowns (no interceptions). Don Harris ran 25 times for 115 yards and three scores. VanCleave, Walker and Jaleel Warren each caught at least four passes and all three scored.
“Offensively, I think we made some strides and did some good things,” Clevenger said “We need to continue to improve offensively and defensively, we have got to get back to being a little bit more physical and get to the football better.”