Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium will host the second annual Vehicle City Gridiron Classic to kick off the 2018 high school football season on Thursday, August 23. The classic will feature a triple-header between teams across Genesee County: Flint vs. Beecher, Hamady vs. Byron and Fenton vs. Ortonville-Brandon.
The concept was introduced by Judge Duncan Beagle, who saw the benefits of similar events held in other communities. The classic was then organized by the Vehicle City Sports Committee, with support from the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Kettering University and each of the participating school districts.
“Atwood Stadium’s history is synonymous with high school football, and we are proud that the Vehicle City Gridiron Classic has already become a highly anticipated yearly event,” says Dr. Robert K. McMahan Jr., Kettering University president. “We are grateful to the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Judge Duncan Beagle and to the participating schools for helping this event continue to thrive, and excited to host these games on our campus.”
Beagle is an ardent supporter of athletics in the community and hard to turn down. Out of that was born the Flint and Genesee Vehicle City Sports Committee, comprising individuals who have a passion for sports and know the value of sports to the youth and community.
“The Energy and enthusiasm for the inaugural classic was simply fantastic” – Tim Herman
There is a core committee consisting of nine members, who are the organizers of the Gridiron Classic. Although Mike Schaal, director of Recreation Services at Kettering University, and John McGarry, Atwood Stadium director, are staples on the Gridiron Classic Committee and offer immense support, the other members change yearly and comprise the athletic directors and coaches of the high schools that will compete that year. Last year’s Vehicle City Gridiron Classic had more than 10,000 fans attend the three games.
“The energy and enthusiasm for the inaugural classic was simply fantastic, and a great event for Flint and Genesee,” says Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “The event also helped to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of new visitors into the city of Flint to see and experience some of the terrific things that are happening here.” Herman, who played high school sports at Powers Catholic, adds, “We are pleased that the business community continues to show strong support. Our biggest sponsors last year were the Al Serra Auto Plaza, Hurley Hospital and Hamo Law. We are grateful for their continuing support for this year’s Vehicle City Classic. We are also grateful for all the businesses that support youth sports in Flint and Genesee as well as the adults who provide the coaching and guidance for our young athletes, both on and off the field.”
The Vehicle City Gridiron Classic is one of many events at Kettering University’s
Atwood Stadium this summer. Since Atwood Stadium’s renovation and reopening in 2015, more than 40,000 visitors have attended events there.
“When we renovated Atwood Stadium, our vision was to create a world-class community venue right in the heart of Flint,” McMahan says. “We are proud to see that vision become a reality, thanks to major events like the Vehicle City Gridiron Classic. We encourage the entire community to come and support these teams and events.”