The annual Best of Preps Jamboree has outgrown the confines of a two-day event.
With four new teams added to the high school football preseason exhibition, including perennial Tennessee small-school powers Marion County and South Pittsburg, this year's jamboree has expanded to be held over three days, Aug. 12-14 at Finley Stadium. Previously the jamboree had been held over two days.
"We have talked about making it a three-day event for a few years, so it just made sense that since we were adding more teams, now was the right time to make that move," event organizer Todd Agne said. "You want to respect the teams and their fan bases by having them play later in the day so that more people who want to attend can do so.
"We feel like we have certainly elevated the amount of attention the jamboree will get by adding the teams we have to what was already a great lineup. We're happy that we get to put teams with a long tradition of success in Chattanooga's premier stadium so they can showcase their programs to not only their fans but also folks who might otherwise not get to see them play."
The Best of Preps Jamboree, sponsored by Chattanooga Sports, will feature 23 area teams and could also be seen as a test run for the three-day extravaganza of TSSAA BlueCross Bowl state championship games, which will also be held at Finley Stadium in December after a dozen years in Cookeville.
The Sequatchie Valley Jamboree had been one of the state's longest running such events, but four of the schools that had participated — Lookout Valley, Marion County, Silverdale Baptist Academy and South Pittsburg — opted to join the Best of Preps field instead.
There will be seven quarters of action at Finley Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 12, and eight quarters both Friday and Saturday, with play beginning at 6 p.m. all three days and each team playing two quarters. Tickets are $10 for each day's games and are available now at each participating school.
Among the higher profile matchups will be Marion County versus East Ridge as well as Chattanooga Christian versus Signal Mountain on Thursday. Friday's key matchups include Boyd Buchanan facing Tyner and two-time reigning Division II-AAA state champion McCallie taking on Cleveland. Saturday's schedule is highlighted by Red Bank versus South Pittsburg, East Hamilton versus Notre Dame plus Baylor against Walker Valley.
The event will also feature numerous college prospects, including McCallie receiver Kenzy Paul, who recently committed to Vanderbilt, Boyd Buchanan tight end Karson Gay and Baylor linebacker Trey McDonald — both are committed to Virginia — and South Pittsburg defensive lineman Gio Davis, who has offers from Tennessee, Ole Miss and Arizona State among others.
Other college prospects who will be competing include East Hamilton athlete Jeremiah Flemmons and receiver and teammate Kaunyea Burgans, Red Bank defensive back Reco Tremble, who has multiple offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs, and Chattanooga Christian running back Boo Carter, who as a sophomore already has an offer from Tennessee.
Best of Preps Jamboree
Presented by Chattanooga Sports
At Finley Stadium
Thursday, Aug. 12
Hixson vs. Sale Creek, 6 p.m.
Signal Mountain vs. Silverdale Baptist, 6:30 p.m.
Hixson vs. Silverdale Baptist, 7 p.m.
Marion County vs. Sale Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Chattanooga Christian vs. Signal Mountain, 8 p.m.
Marion County vs. East Ridge, 8 p.m.
Chattanooga Christian vs. East Ridge, 9 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 13
Boyd Buchanan vs. Brainerd, 6 p.m.
Boyd Buchanan vs. Tyner, 6:30 p.m.
Soddy-Daisy vs. Brainerd, 7 p.m.
Ooltewah vs. Lookout Valley, 7:30 p.m.
McCallie vs. Tyner, 8 p.m.
Soddy Daisy vs. Lookout Valley, 8:30 p.m.
Ooltewah vs. Cleveland, 9 p.m.
McCallie vs. Cleveland, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 14
Red Bank vs. South Pittsburg, 6 p.m.
Bradley Central vs. Howard, 6:30 p.m.
Bradley Central vs. South Pittsburg, 7 p.m.
Red Bank vs. Walker Valley, 7:30 p.m.
East Hamilton vs. Howard, 8 p.m.
Baylor vs. Walker Valley, 8:30 p.m.
East Hamilton vs. Notre Dame, 9 p.m.
Baylor vs. Notre Dame, 9:30 p.m.