Crank up the Hank Williams Jr. Are you ready for some high school football?
It’s time to get excited about the state’s biggest gridiron games of the year — the 2017 Kickoff Classic by Hooten’s Arkansas Football sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The 2017 Kickoff Classic pairs non-conference high school squads from around the state in a showcase of some of the state’s top talent. And it’s played under the lights of a college football stadium with plenty of hard-hitting defense, high-octane offense and fearless football festivity.
Hooten’s Kickoff Classic feels like playoff football in August. Every snap. Every play. Every yard.
Here are the 2017 fourth-and-fearless matchups:
University of Central Arkansas (Conway)
Monday, August 28
Pea Ridge v. Hamburg – 5:30 p.m.
Danville vs. Conway Christian – 7:30 p.m.
Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia)
Tuesday, August 29
Camden Harmony Grove vs. Smackover – 5:30 p.m.
Hampton vs. Prescott – 7:30 p.m.
Press Conference & Ice Cream Sundae Smack Down
The 2017 Kickoff Classic starts in earnest on July 25, 1:30 p.m., at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. All eight teams will gather for the opening press conference, remarks, highlight reels and to be honored as a 2017 selection.
But it’s more than remarks from a podium — head-to-head competition begins at the press conference, as each team will send their biggest horse and best eater for the 2017 Kickoff Classic’s first feat of strength: the ice cream sundae smack down. And a chance to win bragging rights before the big game.
Pep Rallies with a Purpose
Arkansas Blue Cross will travel the state during the weeks leading up to the 2017 Kickoff Classic to get each school engaged and motivated with our community Pep Rallies with a Purpose.
The pep rallies begin with team building and community service, as each school will work together to pack thousands of nutritious meals that will be used to feed thousands of Arkansans. The meal packing event features music, dancing and plenty of goodwill as Pack Shack, an Arkansas-based nonprofit, turns community service into a party.
Last year, each school packed more than 10,000 meals — 80,000 total meals — to fight hunger and food insecurity across the state.
The meals will be donated to local and regional food banks.
After packing meals, it’s time to strike up the band. Arkansas Blue Cross is sponsoring local pep rallies to help the teams pump up their fan base in anticipation of the game. It’s a big deal to be a team selected for the 2017 Kickoff Classic — the pep rally is one way of helping your community celebrate the honor. And get focused on the team’s first game of the season.
August 7 — Pea Ridge High School, Blackhawks Gymnasium
August 8 — Camden Harmony Grove, Harmony Grove United Methodist Church Lawn
August 10 — Hamburg, Hamburg Town Square
August 14 — Smackover, Smackover City Park
August 15 — Danville High School, Ted Lyons Gymnasium
August 17 — Hampton, Arnold Stadium
August 22 — Conway Christian, Lower School Front Parking Lot
August 24 — Prescott, Prescott Sports Arena
Fourth & Fearless Skills and Drills Halftime Games
The 2017 Kickoff Classic will once again feature the Trey Hankins Skills & Drills Halftime Extravaganza — and a chance for two students to compete for prizes from Arkansas Blue Cross as they punt, pass and kick for yardage. The winner will choose between an iPad mini and a Walmart gift card.
Skills and Drills Halftime Rules:
- Free to register/play
- Open to boys and girls, grades 9-12
- Participants drawn randomly from registrants at games
- Parents must sign waiver
- Must be present to play/win