Alabama high school football powers Hoover and Central (Phenix City) to meet in season opener

AHSAA Kickoff Classic

Alabama’s Champions Challenge is now known as the AHSAA Kickoff Classic, but the quality of games is not changing.

Earlier this week, it was announced that defending Alabama Class 7A champ Central High School in Phenix City will square-off with 13-time state champ Hoover on August 23 at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. Both teams finished in the High School Football America 100 national rankings in 2018 with Central checking-in at No. 10 and Hoover at No. 66.

Related: 2018 Final HSFA Top 100

This will be the second head-to-head meeting between the two schools in the season-opening showcase. When they met in the 2016 Champions Challenge, Hoover won 23-7.

It will mark the fifth meeting between two of the top coaches in the state — Jamey Dubose of Central and Josh Niblett of Hoover.

When Dubose was head coach at Prattville, his Lions played the Bucs in the 2008, 2009 and 2011 Class 6A state title games with Prattville winning two of them. When Dubose was head coach at Florence, his team lost to Niblett’s Bucs in the 2013 Class 6A quarterfinals.

The 14th annual event will kick-off on August 22 with Montgomery rivals Jeff-Davis and Carver-Montgomery battling.

Related: Stadium Project – Cramton Bowl

”We are excited about new name of this important event and equally excited about the two games we have set,” said Alabama High School Athletic Directs & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Director Jamie Lee. “The Champions Challenge has been the “official” start of the AHSAA football season for more the last 13 years. The new name for the event, the AHSAA Kickoff Classic, aptly describes the importance of these games.”

Related: 2018 Alabama Top 10

Both games will count as regular season contests.

AHSAA KICKOFF CLASSIC / 
CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

2018
Clarke County 20, Sweet Water 14
Thompson 38, James Clemens 7

2017
Hewitt-Trussville 49, Pell City 10
Maplesville 20, Fyffe 7

2016
Andalusia 34, Brooks 13
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 42, Demopolis 7
Hoover 23, Central-Phenix City 7

2015
Bob Jones 37, Carver-Montgomery 30
Gordo 28, Glencoe 21
Madison Academy 19, Leeds 14

2014
Spanish Fort 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
Opelika 20, Carver-Montgomery 16
Dadeville 14, Piedmont 8

2013
Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20

2012
Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0

2011
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21

2010
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                     

2009
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0 
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27

2008
Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather

2007
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3

2006
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.