JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bragging rights. An opportunity to improve. The opportunity to face an unknown opponent.
The TV look and magnified exposure for players and shows.
It’s Border Classic week when News4JAX and WJXT head to the Peach State for seven games of high school football action. All seven games will air on News4JAX+ with five of them televised live on WJXT Channel 4.
CLASSIC BORDER | A look at the schedule
One caveat of a clash of state against state is the aspect of facing an opponent that the teams know very little about. Among the seven-game matchups, only University Christian and Charlton County have met in the past, according to the Georgia Association of High School Football Historians. And those teams last played in 1993.
“We’ve pretty much played the same teams year after year around here,” said Glynn Academy coach Rocky Hidalgo. “So having someone new on the schedule and like I said training against new guys, that’s exciting. It will be fun.”
West Nassau (1-1) and McIntosh County (1-1) open things up Thursday with a matchup at 4:30 pm that will air on News4JAX+. Next, the Red Terrors (2-1) take on News4JAX No. 5 Creekside (2-0) in the second game of the event. It’s also the first of five games at the event that will be televised this week on WJXT.
“That’s why we’re so prone to doing stuff like this, it’s about the kids. We put kids first here at Creekside High School in our soccer program. It’s about the kids,” Knights coach Sean McIntyre said. “So any time you get the opportunity to go and do something that’s not a normal experience for a high school football team, we jump at that opportunity.”
The Knights know a little about the local TV experience. They beat Ribault 16-7 at the Bold City Showcase in Bolles last year to open the season. McIntyre said the opportunity to play in an event like this is multi-faceted for the show. One of the biggest, he said, is that it’s a little different than the normal game-day routine.
“You know what South Georgia football is supposed to be like. So they’re going to be physical from the start, they do a great job of executing on the back end,” McIntyre said. “We are very excited to play against a team that we are not familiar with and obviously being on television is just the icing on the cake.”
Hidalgo said the experience of coaching games that are televised brings a special atmosphere to the schools and players involved. He has been a part of games like that at the Corky Kell Classic and leading Glynn to the state championship game in 2015.
“The other thing is you want to go out and represent your school and community. It’s really important that you go out there and show great character and play really hard. For people from outside of Glynn County, there will be a lot of people from Florida seeing us for the first time. So, you know, we have to represent our school and our community well.”
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