Classic begins Saturday with new sponsor, setup

The newly-named 2013 Shale Show Sammy Baugh Classic begins this weekend at Mustang Bowl with a new sponsor and — at least for this year — a new and rather unique scheduling setup.A total of three games will be played this year in the Classic, which is now in its ninth year. But instead of having its traditional Thursday through Saturday lineup, all games at the 2013 event will be played on the weekend — starting with the opening game at 11 a.m. Saturday between Quanah and Miles. For the first time, the Classic is on two weekends.After Saturday, no games are scheduled until Sweetwater plays its home opener at the Bowl on Sept. 13 when the Mustangs entertain Breckenridge at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the Classic wraps up with Brock taking on Booker at 6 p.m.This year's unusual schedule, said Sammy Baugh Classic committee member Ted Thomas, can be attributed to changes caused by the University Interscholastic League's last realignment. "We had a commitment to one of the schools very early on in scheduling (but) when realignment happened, Sweetwater's schedule changed," Thomas said. "What was going to be a home game became a road game." So the committee members came up with a revised plan. "We decided to hold (the event) on two weekends so Quanah and Miles could still be a part of the Classic," Thomas said.Two of the three games involve teams new to the Classic — only Friday's contest between tournament host Sweetwater and Breckenridge will not have a newcomer."We will be welcoming some new faces to the Classic and maybe even first-timers to Mustang Bowl," Thomas said. In addition, Brock is in its first year as an 11-man football school and will play an independent schedule this season.Located about 12 miles from Weatherford, the school made its name as a basketball powerhouse before its recent decision to add football. Brock will make a return trip to the Bowl Oct. 26 for a game with Tornillo (near El Paso). Brock should be a 2A, Division I school next year, Thomas said, according to what Brock's coaches have told him.This year's new Classic sponsor holds its show next month — on Oct. 1-2 — at the Nolan County Coliseum complex where it will highlight many aspects on the ongoing exploration and development of the Shale Discovery Field. According to Thomas, the Shale Show will be a great opportunity for members of the public to see the evolution of the oil field. Also, he said, the committee wants to give its thanks to the Shale Show for sponsoring this year's Classic.Sweetwater will be trying to add to a couple of its Classic records this year when it takes on Breckenridge. In addition to playing in all eight Classics held so far, the Mustangs have the most wins (6). Roscoe, which is missing this year's event, is second on the victory list with four while Rotan has three wins and Colorado City and Snyder two.Breckenridge is making its second appearance in the event, winning 34-13 over Jim Ned in its other game in 2006.