Kroger’s KSR Game of the Week will take us west to Bowling Green for an inner-county battle between new rivals Bowling Green and South Warren. The game will be played at Bowling Green’s Eli Donaldson Stadium in the shadows of Bowling Green Airport and Greenwood Mall, just a couple I-65 exits from where all of America’s Chevy Corvettes are made. (Remember that sink hole?)
Here are 20 more things to know about the big game going down in Bowling Green.
1. Bowling Green is the third most populous city in the state, behind only Louisville and Lexington.
At last check, 70,543 people and one Fruit Of The Loom underwear factory call Bowling Green home. Western Kentucky University is there too, along with the aforementioned National Corvette Museum and, at one time, celebrities like horror film director John Carpenter, rock band Cage The Elephant, Cash Cab host Ben Bailey, and food product namesake Duncan Hines.
In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Bowling Green one of the 25 best places in America to retire.
2. South Warren High School is only 10 years old.
The new South Warren High School opened on August 3, 2010 within the same building complex as South Warren Middle School.
Bowling Green High has been around since 1908.
3. The two schools aren’t even 10 miles apart.
4. Bowling Green’s athletic teams call themselves the Purples.
An explanation from the BGHS’s website:
Many years ago, as our school was developing, a stronger and more extensive curriculum was desired. At the same time, Male High School in Louisville was also seeking similar standards for their students. The leadership of BGHS and Male met and began discussions of how their common goal could be achieved. Eventually a plan was created to meet the objectives and the two schools became the first comprehensive high schools in Kentucky.
As their common goals were met, it was also agreed they would share the following:
The school colors would be Royal Purple and Old Gold
The school mascot would be called the “Purple”
The block letter “H,” gold on a purple field, would identify the schools
In later years, Male High School would change their mascot to the Bulldog. However, our school colors have remained the same. We are still the Purples and the gold “H” still symbolizes our alma mater and all those things that BGHS holds dear.
South Warren prides itself on being the Spartans.
5. Bowling Green’s famous alums include UK safety Vito Tisdale.
An Army All-American at Bowling Green last season, Tisdale is now a Kentucky Wildcat. Only a true freshman, Tisdale turned heads right away in fall camp and earned a spot behind veteran Davonte Robinson at nickelback. He is the only true freshman to crack UK’s two-deep depth chart.
6. Tisdale’s dad, Big V of Nappy Roots, has a song about being a Bowling Green Purple.
Yeah I’m a purple…
7. South Warren’s quarterback already has an offer from UK.
Only a junior, QB Caden Veltkamp holds scholarship offers from nearby Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky. Last season he threw for over 1,000 yards with 16 touchdowns and one interception, while dealing with a broken wrist he suffered early in the season.
Veltkamp’s father, Jason Veltkamp, is the strength and conditioning coach at WKU after years of working under Bobby Petrino at both Louisville and Arkansas. So there’s that.
8. Jantzen Dunn is South Warren’s star player.
Jantzen Dunn, a safety and wide receiver for South Warren, is the No. 5 safety in America according to the 247Sports’ rankings. A four-star recruit, he committed to Ohio State back in April over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky, to name a few. He’s good, but battling a quad injury going into Friday night’s game so his status is TBD.
Committed ?????? pic.twitter.com/8HBN2PrGCv
— Jantzen Dunn (@JantzenDunn) April 20, 2020
9. Bowling Green linebacker Rece Jones is a tackling machine.
Jones had 158 tackles last season as a junior and averages 10 tackles and a sack through two games this season. You’ll have a hard time finding a better linebacker in the state, if there is one.
10. Purple tight end Jordan Dingle holds an offer from UK.
Kentucky was one of the first schools to show interest in South Warren’s three-star tight end, Jordan Dingle, the fourth-ranked player in the state of Kentucky in the Class of 2021. Dingle picked up an offer from Ohio State back in August, but UK is still in good standing with the Bowling Green tight end who has made multiple trips to Lexington throughout his recruitment.
11. Bowling Green’s Conner Cooper will be throwing it to Dingle.
Cooper, a senior, passed for 1,352 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions a year ago. He’ll be without one of his top targets, wide receiver Dez Wilson, after Wilson suffered an injury at PRP last week.
12. The Purples went 9-4 last season.
Bowling Green lost the 2019 opener to Father Ryan out of Nashville, then dropped two more to St. X and Trinity out of Louisville, before going on to win the regional championship.
In the playoffs, Bowling Green advanced past South Oldham to reach the state semifinal, but fell to eventual champion Covington Catholic, 28-0, in the semis.
13. South Warren went 11-2 in 2019.
South Warren’s only two losses last season came against the same team… Bowling Green.
The Purples won the regular season meeting at South Warren, then…
14. Bowling Green ended South Warren’s season.
The cross-town rivals met in the second round of the KHSAA playoffs and it was a tight one. The game was tied at 13 with two minutes to go after Veltkamp hit Dunn for the game-tying score. Then Bowling Green traveled the length of the field for JaVyan Collins to punch one in from the four-yard-line to break the tie and win the game, sending Bowling Green forward in the postseason and South Warren home, 20-13.
15. Bowling Green leads the all-time series, 3-2.
Though South Warren has been around almost a decade now, the two schools did not begin playing each other until 2017. Bowling Green won the first one, South Warren won the next two, then Bowling Green won the two most recent, last season.
16. Both teams have won recent state 5A titles.
Bowling Green won its first championship in 1995, three straight state championships from 2011 to 2013, then went back to back in 2015 and 2016 for six total trophies. The Purples finished as the runner-up another four times (1994, 2005, 2006 and 2007).
South Warren is new, but didn’t need long to win big. The Spartans won the school’s first state championship in 2018, beating Covington Catholic, 20-16, in Kroger Field.
17. Both teams are undefeated.
Bowling Green has already made two trips to Louisville so far this season and returned with wins in each of them. The Purples beat St. X in Week 1, then went back to hand Pleasure Ridge Park an L one week later.
South Warren traveled east within the county to Warren East, then hosted Glasgow last week.
18. No one has scored on South Warren yet.
In South Warren’s first two games, the Spartans scored 76 combined points and allowed zero in games against Warren East and then Glasgow.
19. South Warren had to cancel a game.
South Warren missed out on a September 18th home game against Louisville Central due to new KHSAA rules around COVID. Warren County was considered a hot spot, therefore Central stayed home in Louisville and the game was not played.
Bowling Green did not play a game last Friday.
20. Eli Donaldson Stadium is getting an Extreme Stadium Makeover after 50 years.
Barring another playoff rematch, this will be the last time they meet at Eli Donaldson Stadium (in its current form). Eli Donaldson Stadium turned 50 years old last year and at the conclusion of this season it will undergo a $6.5-million renovation. Beginning next season Bowling Green will have new turf, a new track, new bleachers, a new press box, new everything.
We’re excited to be there for one of its last big games.