Cookeville celebrates 10 years of BlueCross Bowl

Local BlueCross Bowl steering committee leadership and TSSAA staff pose following a planning meeting in Cookeville. From left is George Halford, Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce president/CEO; Zach Ledbetter, Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau vice president of visitor development; Emily Crowell, TSSAA director of championship events; Laura Wolf, BlueCross Bowl steering committee chair-elect; Courtney Brunetz, TSSAA marketing director; Richard McWhirter, TSSAA assistant executive director; Bobby Long, TSSAA administrative assistant; and Mark Wilson, BlueCross Bowl steering committee chair.

An anniversary year as Tennessee’s High School Football Capital

COOKEVILLE –The “Road to Cookeville” has become a TSSAA tradition over the past 10 years, with this Middle Tennessee cityoffering student athletes, coaches, fans and families an athletic hospitality like no other. The community that welcomes the state’s high school football championships with open arms prepares for the tenth year of hosting the BlueCross Bowl set for Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.

As teams across the state fight for the chance to take their caravan onto the “Road to Cookeville,” the entire community is working to provide the final 18 teams with the Division I bowl-like experience that has become a standard in the hub city of the Upper Cumberland region.

Making its home in Cookeville-Putnam County since 2009, the BlueCross Bowl is secured through 2020, after an extension of hosting privileges was awarded by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Board of Control in January 2017.

“Our community embraces the BlueCross Bowl,” said Zach Ledbetter, Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau vice president of visitor development. “Hosting these championship games has become a tradition for our citizens, community leaders, local emergency services, law enforcement, and area businesses.”

Local BlueCross Bowl Steering Committee Chairman and Tennessee Tech Athletic Director Mark Wilson is excited to continue the tradition and strives to improve the experience for attendees each year. The anniversary year is no different, offering an elevated player and fan experience with a recent major stadium improvement.

“As our enthusiasm and excitement in hosting grows each year, we want the experience and environment for these student athletes, their coaches, families, and fans to grow as well,” said Wilson. “This year, in addition to police escorts and top-notch game operation, we have installed a state-of-the-art videoboard with nearly 3,400 square feet of video space to take the BlueCross Bowl atmosphere to a new level at Tucker Stadium.”

An estimated 30-40,000 fans will visit the city of Cookeville and the Tennessee Tech campus to enjoy that atmosphere. For most of these student athletes, cheer/dance and band members, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and everyone in Cookeville and at Tennessee Tech continue with a goal of producing a first-class event for them.

Laura Wolf, executive director of Cookeville CityScape, has served on the volunteer leadership team for BlueCross Bowl in various roles since 2009. She will serve as incoming local BlueCross Bowl Steering Committee chair for the 2019 games.

“We want this to be an experience that creates milestone memories for these players, cheerleaders, band members, coaches, and parents,” said Wolf. “These are the moments they will look back on with great pride and will carry with them from now on.”

Championship games are set as follows:
(All game times are CT).


Division I, Class 2A, 11 a.m.

Division I, Class 4A, 3 p.m.

Division I, Class 6A, 7 p.m.


Division II, Class 1A, 11 a.m.

Division II, Class 2A, 3 p.m.

Division II, Class 3A, 7 p.m.


Division I, Class 1A, 11 a.m.

Division I, Class 3A, 3 p.m.

Division I, Class 5A, 7 p.m.

Tickets are $12 per day. Tickets may be purchased at participating schools, online at, and at the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau, located inside the Leslie Town Centre (purchases of ten or more tickets are discounted to $10/each).

TSSAA’s BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville is a combined effort between the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau, City of Cookeville, Putnam County, and Tennessee Tech University.

For TSSAA information and playoff brackets, go to:

For BlueCross Bowl information along with Cookeville area information, go to:

For information about Tennessee Tech University, go to:

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