As long and storied as their history is, this season’s Booneville Bearcats are about to do something that has never happened.
About to play the school’s 92nd playoff game, Friday’s game with Lincoln will mark the first time Booneville has been at home on the day after Thanksgiving in back-to-back seasons.
It’s not that the Bearcats haven’t played on Thanksgiving weekend, it’s just that the way brackets have shaken out Booneville has been on the road or at a neutral site 10 times.
Of course last year’s Black Friday game turned out to be less than memorable. Before that game with, oh never mind, Bearcat Stadium had last hosted a home game on the day after Thanksgiving in 2004 when the victim was none other than Shiloh Christian, 70-28.
All told, the home record on Thanksgiving weekend is only 2-4. The other win came in 1999 in overtime against Star City, 20-14.
That isn’t meant to suggest that playing on the day after Thanksgiving is some type of jinx for Booneville. The Bearcats are 10-6 on Black Friday with a 3-1 mark at neutral sites and 5-1 on the road.
The last time the Bearcats played on Thanksgiving weekend in successive seasons was in 2004 and 2005 with the win over Shiloh and a loss the following season at Nashville.
Before that Booneville played after Thanksgiving in four straight seasons – at Atkins in 1998, at home against Nashville in 1999, at De Queen in 2000 and at Rivercrest in 2001.
Since we’re on the subject of history, Friday’s game against Hamburg marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Booneville actually had a game scheduled on the day of the assassination. In the pre-playoff days of 1963 the Bearcats had a date scheduled with Paris, a game they would lose.
On a final note, Booneville has absolutely no history with Friday’s opponent as Lincoln has never appeared on a Bearcat schedule.