Saturday, June 06, 2009

Here Come the Match-Ups!

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

My blood really starts pumping for the upcoming season when schedules start getting released!

Today we'll kick things off by looking at match-ups from national and regional interstate football gatherings that are popping-up like weeds since Kirk Herbstreit introduced his Ohio vs. USA extravaganza several years ago.

The event is now known as the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series, and is back for its fifth year with four games being played over two days late in August. A week later, the series moves to Dallas for four games in Dallas on September 7th.

Headlining the August 29 doubleheader at Ohio Stadium in Columbus is defending national champ St. Thomas Aquinas from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The Raiders, who have former Ohio State star and NFL Pro-Bowler Cris Carter as an assistant coach, will play Upper Arlington in the first game. Westerville South will play Hilliard Davidson in the second contest on the 29th.

“The Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series presented by BURGER KING is by far the nation’s top high school
football event,” said Cris Carter. “We have a great high school football tradition here at St. Thomas Aquinas and
we’re excited to be a part of the series again in 2009. This year’s version of the event is extra special for me as I get a
chance to coach in the stadium where I have so many memories from my playing days. It’s also the stadium where my
son will create memories of his own. It should be an unforgettable weekend.”

Carter's son Duron and former St. Thomas Aquinas Raider is a freshman wide receiver for the Buckeyes this year.

On Sunday, California powerhouse Orange Lutheran from Southern California will face Pickerington Central in the second game of the day. In the opener, Olentangy Liberty will take-on Dublin Coffman.

"I am thrilled that Ohio Stadium and the city of Columbus have been selected to host the 2009 Kirk Herbstreit Varsity
Football Series presented by BURGER KING in Ohio,” said Kirk Herbstreit. “When I took the field at Ohio Stadium for the
first time, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream. I am so happy that these young athletes will be able to share in the
same experience. I have always been a strong believer in the lessons and values learned through high school athletics.
We look forward to making the 2009 Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Series an experience that these athletes will never

All of the Ohio games will be televised on either ESPN or ESPNU. The Dallas match-ups will be announced in a couple of weeks.

In Wheeling, West Virginia, the Friends of Coal Prep Classic is back for its second year on September 5th. This year's tripleheader will feature four teams from Pennsylvania and two from Ohio, including the state's defending Division V champ Youngstown Ursuline.

Here are the match-ups with the team's 2008 records:

Friends of Coal Prep Classic
Woodland Hills, PA (4-5) vs. Steubenville, OH (14-1)
McKeesport, PA (8-3) vs. St. Joseph's Prep, PA (8-4)
Pittsburgh Central Catholic, PA (8-3) vs. Youngstown Ursuline, OH (15-0)

And, finally here are the match-ups for the Ohio Valley High School Jamboree that will be played August 20th and 21st at Wheeling Island Stadium in West Virginia. The four game event features teams from Ohio and West Virginia.

Ohio Valley High School Jamboree
Wheeling Central Catholic, WV (10-3) vs. St. Clairsville, OH (7-4)
Martins Ferry, OH (11-2) vs. Wheeling Park, WV (10-2)
John Marshall, WV (1-9) vs. Magnolia, WV (9-4)
Brooke WV (3-7) vs. Oak Glen, WV (5-5)

Gaines Returns to Friday Night Lights at Permian

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

It's been 20-years since Gary Gaines roamed a high school sideline, but the man, who is the centerpiece of the the Friday Night Lights book by H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger is back in Odessa. Click here to read a story in USA Today on Gaines return to be the head coach at Odessa Permian.

For more high school football news from Texas, click here to go to the Texas High School Football Huddle.