It’ll be about as close to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as these players can get.
Cumberland Valley will face State College next month at Penn State’s famed Beaver Stadium in the regular-season finale for both teams.
“Obviously, I told them today, ‘Obviously, it’s a great honor,’” CV head coach Michael Whitehead said. “‘Let’s make it worthwhile.’”
The game is scheduled for Oct. 26, a Saturday, at either noon or 5 p.m. The kickoff time will be announced after the time for the Penn State at Michigan State game is determined; that game takes place the same day.
PSU announced the news Wednesday evening.
The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 25.
Tickets will be $10 and will be available in advance at the schools or the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office starting Oct. 1.
Parking will be allowed at the Stadium West lot or the Jordan East lot starting two hours prior to kickoff. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, and parking passes can be purchased in advance as well.
Could be key game for CV: Still four weeks away, the game could be critically important for the Eagles (2-3). CV may still be in the District 3 Class 6-A playoff hunt then despite its current record, and a win could determine their fate.
However, Whitehead is trying to keep his players focused on the here and now: a critical home game Friday against Chambersburg. Whitehead said he told his players today, and the team talked about it for just a few minutes. Then he quickly turned their attention back to Week 6.
Whitehead said he and Little Lions head coach Matt Lintel had some early discussions in the spring, and Whitehead has known this was a possibility since around that time. But CV was not heavily involved in discussions; Whitehead said “that was between State College and Penn State.”
He said he knew it was official a few weeks ago, but CV couldn’t announce anything until Penn State was ready to.
“It just so happened that the stars aligned for us to have that opportunity,” he said. “We’re just very fortunate and thankful.”
Whitehead said the team has no plans currently to do anything different leading up to the game.
It’ll be special for the Little Lions seniors as well, as they will celebrate Senior Night in one of the country’s largest stadiums that hosts more than 106,000 fans.
The Nittany Lions have alumni from both schools currently playing. CV’s Charlie Katshir, a 2018 grad, is a sophomore linebacker, and the Little Lions’ Keaton Ellis (CB), Jaiden Seider (S), Tommy Friberg (TE) and Collin De Boef (OL) are also on the team.
Franklin supports idea: WMSS-FM broadcaster Eric Thomas first reported the news in August that Penn State hoped to host a high school football game this weekend. At the time, State College hosting Cumberland Valley on the final weekend was one of the most obvious choices for any of the weekends Penn State was on a bye or playing on the road.
At the time, PSU head coach James Franklin said: “[When] we can be great partners in our community and great partners in our state, and provide a great experience in this community and in the state of Pennsylvania, and promote athletics and high school football in our state, we want to try and do it.”
Franklin also said he would like to have Beaver Stadium host a PIAA state championship in the future. PIAA’s partnership with Hershey Company ends in two years.
According to PennLive, this is the first time either school will play a game at Beaver Stadium, and neither team is allowed to earn a profit from the game per NCAA rules.