The third annual Pre-Gobble Day Classic will take place Saturday and Sunday at high school stadiums around Pine Bluff and at Golden Lion Stadium.

The third annual Pre-Gobble Day Classic will take place Saturday and Sunday at high school stadiums around Pine Bluff and at Golden Lion Stadium.


This event is a youth football tournament sponsored by Blunt Sports Marketing. The mission of the classic, as stated by its website, is to provide a top-notch football experience while permitting youth football leagues from various parts of the state to gather in one place and compete against teams in different leagues.


Along with the mission, this event is also utilized to raise the awareness of hunger in Arkansas. The participants and attendants are encouraged to bring canned goods and non-perishable donations to donate at the gate entrance on Saturday and Sunday. Every food donation is distributed to Neighbor to Neighbor to be given to those in need.


President of Blunt Sports Marketing Cory Blunt said the donations are greatly appreciated and he is proud of the past success.


"That’s something extra I added to the event," Blunt said of the donations. "We wanted to show the kids that giving back to the community is easy to do. The kids can give back something to the community by bringing something as small as canned goods to help people. Afterwards, we take the food over to the Pine Bluff Neighbor to Neighbor program."


Blunt also said that he created the event three years ago for multiple purposes along with raising awareness.


"I wanted to help the city of Pine Bluff," Blunt said. "I wanted to help out with the community and let the younger kids see what it feels like to play against better competition to measure themselves at a young age. The most important thing to better the youth is to prepare them for life."


The event will have four age groups including: 6-and-under, 8-and-under, 10-and-under, and 12-and-under. Each age group will have its own set of rules and regulations to follow, including time limit and other guidelines.


Teams will play at various high school stadiums around Pine Bluff including Cardinal Stadium (Dollarway), Jordan Stadium (Pine Bluff) and Wildcat Stadium (Watson Chapel) on Saturday. Blunt said they may also use UAPB’s Golden Lion Stadium as a location for games due to the number of teams registered. The stadium is already set to host the championship games held on Sunday for each division.


For the fans, an entry fee of $6 per adult and $4 per child (ages 5-12) will be charged at the gate of each field. A weekend pass is also available for $10 (adults) and $6 (children).


Blunt said he is amazed at how the tournament continues to grow in numbers each year.


"We started out with 16 teams in the first year, who were all from Arkansas," Blunt said. "The following year we had 32 teams, including some out of state. This year we have 38 teams and would have had more, but we had a few cancelations."


Locally, there are four teams from the city of Pine Bluff and one team from White Hall. Other teams will come from other cities and neighboring states including Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.


Blunt said the team from Tennessee comes from Deion Sanders’ Prime Time Association, while another standout team comes from Bastrop, La. The Bastrop Rams have had a host of great talent including former LSU Tiger and current NFL wide receiver Rueben Randle.


Blunt said the event wouldn’t be possible without the help of some generous people including the Pine Bluff Convention Center and local legend Jackie Harris.


For more information or to register a team online, visit www.pregobbledayclassic.com.