Brainerd's Jesse Walker tackles Notre Dame's Dallas Brown during a scrimmage last week. Both teams will play in the Kickoff Classic Best of Preps jamboree tonight at Finley Stadium.



Kickoff Classic Best of Preps

At Finley Stadium

Boyd-Buchanan vs. Brainerd, 6

Chattanooga Christian vs. Grace Academy, 6:30

Boyd-Buchanan vs. Grace Academy, 7

Chattanooga Christian vs. Brainerd, 7:30

McCallie vs. Notre Dame, 8

Signal Mountain vs. Notre Dame, 8:30

McCallie vs. Signal Mountain, 9

Southeast Kickoff Classic

At Rhea County High

Cleveland vs. Lenoir City, 6

Stone Memorial vs. Knox Catholic, 6

Walker Valley vs. McMinn County, 8

Rhea County vs. Bradley Central, 9

Sequatchie Valley

At Sequatchie County High

Sequatchie County vs. Silverdale Baptist, 7

Bledsoe County vs. Lookout Valley

South Pittsburg vs. Grundy County

Whitwell vs. Marion County

Lookout Valley vs. Silverdale Baptist

Grundy County vs. Marion County

Whitwell vs. South Pittsburg

Sequatchie County vs. Bledsoe County


Kickoff Classic Best of Preps

At Finley Stadium

Sale Creek vs. Hixson, 4

Howard vs. Sale Creek, 4:30

Howard vs. Hixson, 5

Central vs. Ooltewah, 5:30

Walker Valley vs. Ooltewah, 6

Central vs. Baylor, 6:30

Soddy-Daisy vs. Walker Valley, 7

Tyner vs. Baylor, 7:30

Tyner vs. Soddy-Daisy, 8

Red Bank vs. East Ridge, 8:30

East Hamilton vs. East Ridge, 9

East Hamilton vs. Red Bank, 9:30


Friday nights in the Chattanooga area now officially belong to high school football once again. Three jamborees will be played across the region tonight — a dress rehearsal for next week's regular-season kickoff.

For the second straight year, the Times Free Press will be the proud sponsor of the Kickoff Classic Best of Preps jamboree at Finley Stadium tonight and Saturday. A total of 19 area teams will compete, and tickets are $10.

Also tonight, the annual Sequatchie Valley jamboree, one of the oldest in the state, will be played at Sequatchie County High School while the new Southeast Classic will be held at Rhea County.

The Kickoff Classic has a new format this year, with each team playing two 20-minute quarters — each against a different opponent — with a running clock. There will be seven quarters of action tonight, beginning at 6, and 12 quarters on Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m.

"It's going to be the best competition we've ever had," event organizer Stump Martin said. "It'll bring a lot of excitement and more people because of the number of quarters each team will get to play."

After a one-year absence, Signal Mountain returns to the jamboree under new head coach Josh Roberts, who was the team's offensive coordinator last season. The Eagles will play Notre Dame and McCallie in tonight's final two quarters.

Another first-year head coach among this year's teams is Hixson's Gary Murray, who was the Wildcats' offensive coordinator last year. Hixson will play Saturday, taking on Sale Creek and Howard.

Tyrus Ward is entering his first season as head coach of Brainerd, his alma mater, after spending two years coaching in the mid-state area.

"Where else can you go and see as many different kids and teams and play as many minutes in one place?" Martin added. "If you love high school football, you'll get your own preseason preview at Finley.

"Folks will get to see the new uniforms, the star players that are back and the new ones people are talking about. You can see which teams are going to be as good as advertised, and it's really just a great atmosphere and always an exciting way to get the season going."

Eight teams will compete in the Sequatchie Valley jamboree, which begins at 7 Eastern, and tickets are $8. Three of the teams playing — the host Indians, Marion County and South Pittsburg — reached at least the semifinals of last year's state playoffs, and all are expected to contend in their classifications once again. A skills competition will be held at the midway point of the eight-quarter event.

Bradley Central, Cleveland, Rhea County and Walker Valley are the area teams involved in the Southeast Classic jamboree, which begins at 6.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.