The Magnolia Panthers and members of seven other high school football teams were in Little Rock on Tuesday for the official announcement of the 2019 Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic, presented by hootens .com.
The four Kickoff Classic games – including two at Southern Arkansas University’s Wilkins Stadium – will start the 2019 high school football season in Arkansas.
At SAU, the Warren Lumberjacks – technically the home team – will play the Magnolia Panthers at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 27. The Rison Wildcats will host the Prescott Curley Wolves at 7:30 p.m.
The Kickoff Classic’s first games will be Monday, August 26 at Arkansas State University. Jonesboro Westside will play Greene County Tech at 5:30 p.m. Valley View and Osceola follow at 7:30 p.m.
More than 600 high school football players and their coaches from throughout the state gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center to celebrate their selection in the Kickoff Classic.
The players and coaches are getting ready for “Pep Rally with a Purpose” events in their team’s respective hometowns.
“This is a great lineup of teams, including several state title contenders and dynamic players,” said Chad Hooten of Hooten’s Arkansas Football. “Not only will these teams start the season in grand style, but Arkansas Blue Cross will enable the players, cheerleaders and band members to help their communities while having a lot of fun before the games.”
“Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is pleased to be presenting the 2019 Kickoff Classic,” said Curtis Barnett, Arkansas Blue Cross president and chief executive officer. “We are especially thrilled to support the teams and the communities in which where they live with our ‘Pep Rally with a Purpose’ events.
“Prior to the teams meeting on the gridiron, we will be working side by side with the football teams, cheer teams and band members to pack meals that will be provided to their local food pantries. Because our state is ranked second in the nation in the number of people facing food insecurity, we are making a deeper investment in these communities. In addition to packing meals, we will hold community pep rallies in the teams’ hometowns to celebrate the students’ hard work and support their participation in the Kickoff Classic.”