GLASGOW – Jeff Griffith, the head football coach at Barren County High School, announced Friday that after the 2016 season, the Trojans will be dropping rival Glasgow from their schedule for the 2017 and 2018 campaigns.
Griffith informed Glasgow High School coach Jeff Garmon of his decision via email on Friday. Part of the reason for the change is South Warren High School will be joining Barren County’s district in 2017.
“As someone who’s been here a year now, you have to evaluate what’s best for our program right now at Barren County. We’re a program that (has) traditionally (been); let’s face it, we’ve been a middle-of-the-pack type of program,” Griffith said. “It is no fault of Glasgow’s. Glasgow has a tremendous program and this is not going to hurt them at all. I don’t think this is going to hurt our program, I am hoping it is going to enhance it over the next two or three years.”
“I am disappointed. And when I say I am disappointed, I am disappointed from a community standpoint,” Garmon said. “I know, with my eyes, I see how many people are at the games. That’s where the disappointment comes. I know our fans come out for that game and I know Barren County’s fans come out for that game.
“I think the game will be missed. But I do understand Jeff’s take on it and his side of it, what he believes is best for his program. I have to respect and honor that.”
The two teams began playing in the 1970s when Barren County High School opened. The annual game was cancelled in 1980, according to Glasgow athletic director Craig Cassady, due to unfortunate decisions by some students. The rivalry was picked back up in 1988 and the two teams have played ever since.
The rivalry has been one-sided toward Glasgow. Since 1998, the Scotties are 14-4 against the Trojans, including consecutive wins from 1999-2005 and 2009-2013. Barren County’s only victories during that time came in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2014. GHS has also outscored Barren County, during that stretch, 508-196.
“We know it is a rivalry game. For it to be a rivalry game, to be quite frank, we don’t win enough of those games,” Griffith said. “And I understand for the community it is a gate game, but at the same time we have to do right now what I think and, in discussions with other people, what we think is best for the Barren County football program.
“I know there is going to be some disappointment about playing (but) I am not going to do that at the expense of what I think is best for our program, for a program that has had (something like) 16 straight losing seasons.”
Griffith said there was no specific reason for selecting to drop Glasgow over other teams on his schedule and that he will revisit adding the Scotties back to the gridiron schedule for the 2019 and 2020 campaigns.
“This is a two-year hiatus, so to speak, for ’17 and ’18, for us to try and get a little more footing on our program,” Griffith explained. “We will revisit it in the next two-year cycle and go from there. I know this might seem a little uncommon for here because it will be the first time Barren County and Glasgow will not have played in probably 30 years.”
Griffith said dropping and adding teams to football schedules happens all the time, saying he can remember when he was coaching at Bowling Green High School Glasgow elected to drop the Purples after playing them for several years.
“Glasgow was doing at the time what was best for their program. It just happens,” Griffith said. “It is not like we’re never going to cross those roads again. We’re just doing what we think is best for our program right now, that we need to do to try and get it better.”
Barren County’s district in 2017 and 2018 will include: Bowling Green, South Warren, Grayson County and Greenwood.
“Make no mistake, our schedule is going to be very tough,” Griffith explained. “We will be playing in one of the toughest districts in the state with the addition of South Warren to our district.”
The move now leaves Glasgow to try and find teams to fill vacancies on its schedule. Barren County has also decided not to play in the Scottie Bowl beginning in 2017, so Garmon must find a replacement for the Trojans in the bowl and regular-season games.
“We’re going to now have to find someone else to play. I will leave that up to coach Garmon, as to who he wants to get,” Cassady said. “That leaves us into looking into someone else to play and when you’re making out these schedules, it is not always the easiest thing to do. We had a little bit of success with a very young team (this past year) and people take that into consideration and sometimes it is difficult to find opponents when you’ve had success and have some good quality players coming back.”
Garmon has no hard feelings toward the Barren County program.
“I am not hard on Jeff or hard on Barren County,” Garmon said. “I understand and I understand their decision they had to do for themselves.”