To think of Loudon and Lenoir City High Schools working together in an athletic setting is not something very common, but that's exactly what happened as Loudon put together their first ever post-Thanksgiving basketball showcase.
"For years we had gone somewhere else and played," Loudon athletic director Ronald Roberts said. "Of course, that adds to your travel expense. You're driving a bus two days to somewhere, and I thought it was an opportunity for us to kind of flip that and possibly make some money for our basketball and athletic program."
One of the first calls Roberts made in putting the Loudon Thanksgiving Classic together was to call Lenoir City boys' basketball coach Brandon Kirkland.
With Lenoir City hosting a yearly Christmas tournament, Roberts thought it would benefit both schools for Lenoir City to play at Loudon for Thanksgiving and for Loudon to play at Lenoir City on Christmas.
"It kind of helps both schools," Loudon girls' basketball coach Bryant Collins said. "When these schools play, usually people follow. It kind of helps both schools out by staying close."
Roberts called it a win-win in that travel costs are not high for either school to make the trip across the county at Thanksgiving or Christmas and should bring a good crowd with both fan bases being so close.
Exact money figures are not available, but Roberts was happy with the first day of games.