Mayors make friendly wager on state championship football game between 30-year rivals

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) - Beechwood and Pikeville's high school football teams will face off for the Kentucky Class A State Football Championship on November 30.

For the mayors of the teams' hometowns, Fort Mitchell Mayor Jude Hehman and Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter, they see this as an opportunity to make a friendly wager. The two teams have challenged each other in the playoffs and the state championship before, which has contributed to their 30-year rivalry.

The losing mayor will host the winning mayor and key staff for local food and a tour of the city government.

“Although our cities are located at opposite ends of Kentucky, we have a lot in common with the City of Pikeville,” said Mayor Hehman. “Fort Mitchell and Pikeville are of similar size and facing a lot of the same issues with regard to taxes, funding, growing volunteers and rising pension costs. Our friendly wager will lead to a visit for us together in one of our communities, where we will put our school rivalries aside, while we get to know one another and share ideas. No matter what happens on the football field tomorrow, it’s a win/win for our cities.”

Beechwood has won the Class A State Championship 13 times. Pikeville has won four times, with the most recent victory in 2015.

“We wish our Pikeville Panthers all the best in the state championship game against the Tigers. The two teams are worthy opponents and have clashed many times in the past and both have worked hard to prepare for this game,” said Mayor Carter.

This might be the last time the rivals will face each other. Beechwood is moving up to Class 2A next season due to the reclassification of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

“I was a student at Beechwood and remember cheering at the school pep rallies to beat Pikeville," said Mayor Hehman. "I feel confident our Tigers will bring home the championship this year, and I look forward to hosting Mayor Carter and his team to the best fried chicken in the state at Greyhound Tavern, followed by a trip to Graeter’s for the world’s best ice cream!”

“So many good things have been happening in Pikeville this year and we can add this state championship game to the list," said Mayor Carter. "Since the Panthers will obviously win! I look forward to hosting Mayor Hehman in Pikeville after the game. We’ll tour our new industrial park, Discuss common concerns, talk about how the eastern Kentucky economy is turning around and then visit the new Dueling Barrels Brewery and Distillery."

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