IF YOU GO
Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic
When: Thursday, Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Finley Stadium
Tickets: $8 at timesfreepress.com/kickoff; $10 at the game
Tickets for the the inaugural Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic on Aug. 21 at Finley Stadium, matching the McCallie and Cleveland high school football teams, are on sale now at www.timesfreepress.com/kickoff. Tickets cost $8 in advance and will be $10 on the day of the game.
This the second Best of Preps sporting event sponsored by the paper, joining the growing and successful annual Best of Preps basketball tournament.
"We are proud of bringing the best speakers to our banquet and now offering great event opportunities for high school athletes in our area," Times Free Press sports editor Jay Greeson said. "We are expecting a great crowd at Finley to see two of the area's most talented teams."
McCallie beat Cleveland 55-35 to open the 2013 season when quarterback JaVaughn Craig had 381 yards of total offense in his first career start. Craig returns for the Blue Tornado.
Cleveland, which won 10 games last year for the first time since 1996, also has a number of familiar skilled position players back after making the Class 5A semifinals against Knoxville West. Running backs T.J. Parker and Ray Bunion and all-around athlete Eric Goodwin return to help the transition for new Blue Raiders quarterback Austin Massey.
"I am just so proud that Finley Stadium has this partnership with the Times Free Press to bring meaningful high school football back to Finley," stadium executive director Paul Smith said. "The fact that it is a season-opening game where the entire community can enjoy it makes it even better.
"There will be a lot of blue there for sure.
Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...