Honoring the past: Admirals dedicate game to Bate High School

Published 3:32 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Danville’s football team warmed up Friday in its usual home colors.

But minutes before kickoff, the team switched into purple and gold jerseys to honor Bate High School.

The momentum for a game honoring Bate High School started in the spring, when Bate Middle School was renamed to John W. Bate Middle School and there was discussion about changing the school mascot from the Bulldogs to the Admirals.

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Danville football coach Clay Clevenger saw that and wanted to help honor the past. He spoke with superintendent Keith Look, and Look was all for the idea of having a game to celebrate Bate High.

“Bate alumni came out and voiced their thoughts about not wanting that to happen, that it’s a part of their legacy,” Clevenger said. “When that all started, that’s where we got the idea to do this. We ran it through administration and went from there.

“Coach Ernest Dunn really helped me a lot with it over the last few weeks, getting it organized. Glenn Ball of the Bate alumni association, he and coach Dunn did a really good job getting people involved and getting the word out. I thought we had a really good turnout.”

Clevenger said he had support from Look and the school administration, and it was coach Dunn and Ball who took the initiative and really promoted the game.

Bate High School alumni met with the Danville team captains before the game and walked with the captains onto the field for the coin toss.

“Hopefully people enjoyed it, I know the kids did,” Clevenger said. “They’re a part of our legacy, our history. It’s good for those guys to be honored. We had a couple granddads of our players out there, I think that adds to the excitement.”

So, what happens to the jerseys now?

“We’ve talked about making this an annual deal, and some of the Bate alumni talked about buying some of (the jerseys),” Clevenger said. “But I’m not sure, that’s to be determined. I’m not opposed to making it a yearly deal if it is something that interests people.”