ESPN announces 2014 Kickoff Classic Television Schedule

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Westover High’s Trenton Thompson, #1 in ESPN 300, will appear with his team during ESPN Kickoff Classic Weekend

by Jeff Fisher

High school football junkies, get ready for an action packed weekend of football August 22nd through the 24th on ESPN‘s family of networks.

This year ESPN will televise ten games featuring nine 2013 state champs and 18 players on the ESPN 300. Two of the games – Miami Central (Florida) at Hoover (Alabama) and Booker T. Washington (Florida) versus Oscar Smith (Virginia) – feature teams that are ranked in’s Preseason Early Contenders Top 25. Hoover is ranked #3, Booker T. Washington #9, Miami Central #15 and Oscar Smith is ranked #24.

It all kicks-off on Friday, August 22nd with a battle between South Carolina powers Byrnes, with eight state titles since 2002, taking-on defending Class 4A champ Northwestern.  Also on Friday, it’s a rematch of the 2013 Alabama 3A title game between defending state champ Madison Academy and Leeds. Madison is riding a 25-game win streak, having won back-to-back state titles.

Saturday kicks-off with the Miami Central-Hoover showdown on ESPN.  Both schools won state titles in 2013. Another Alabama/Florida match-up will occur later in the day Saturday when Clay-Chalkville faces 2013 Florida 7A runner-up Niceville. In addition to Saturday’s Booker T./Oscar Smith showdown at 9 o’clock, Buford (Georgia) and Trinity Christian (Florida) will square-off in a battle of defending state champs from their respective states. Trinity Christian is ranked #22 in the MaxPreps’ Early Contenders Top 25.

The most interesting showdown on Sunday finds defending Florida state champs Dwyer and American Heritage squaring-off.  American Heritage is ranked #6 in MaxPreps’ Early Contenders Top 25.

Three of the top four players in the ESPN 300 will be playing before a national viewing audience – #1 Trenton Thompson, defensive tackle for Westover High School in Georgia, #3 Kevin Toliver II, cornerback for Trinity Christian Academy in Florida, and #4 Josh Sweat, defensive end of Oscar Smith High School.

Below is the schedule of games with the network they will appear on.

Friday, August 22nd

6 PM – Byrnes (South Carolina) vs. Northwestern (South Carolina) – ESPNU

9 PM – Leeds (Alabama) vs. Madison Academy (Alabama) – ESPNU

Saturday, August 23rd

Noon – Miami Central (Florida) at Hoover (Alabama) – ESPN

1 PM – Westover (Georgia) vs. Lee County (Georgia) – ESPNU

4 PM – Niceville (Florida) vs. Clay-Chalkville (Alabama) – ESPNU

9 PM – Booker T. Washington (Florida) at Oscar Smith (Virginia) – ESPNU

9 PM – Trinity Christian (Florida) at Buford (Georgia) – ESPN2

Sunday, August 24th

Noon – Oakland (Tennessee) at Blackman (Tennessee) – ESPN2

3 PM – Dwyer (Florida) at American Heritage (Florida) – ESPN

4:30 – Nixa (Missouri) at Helias (Missouri)


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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.