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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Milton football team to play in inaugural California showcase

Milton, the Class AAAAAAA football champion, is broadening its national reputation this year with a deal to become the first Georgia high school team to play a football game in California.

Milton is scheduled to play JSerra Catholic of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., on Sept. 14 in the first Trinity League vs. the USA Showcase on the campus of national power St. John Bosco High of Bellflower, Calif. 

Prep Gridiron Logistics, the event organizer, announced the matchups on Wednesday. 

The event also includes St. John Bosco vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel of Maryland on Friday, Sept. 13, and Mater Dei of California vs. St. Francis Academy of Maryland on Saturday, Sept. 14. 

St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and JSerra are members of the California Interscholastic Federation’s Trinity League, a six-team region that fielded these three nationally ranked teams in 2018. 

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JSerra, Milton’s opponent, was 9-3 in last season and ranked No. 17 nationally in the MaxPreps’ final computer national rankings. JSerra was No. 7 overall in California. 

Milton, which won its first-ever state title, finished in the top three of several final top-25 national rankings and as high as No. 13 by PrepNation. 

The California showcase will be played at Panish Family Stadium, a 5,000-seat facility built last year on the St. Bosco campus, about 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles. 

According to Georgia High School Football Historians Association records, only two GHSA teams have played California opponents, and both of those games were played in Georgia. North Gwinnett defeated Crenshaw of Los Angeles 17-12 in 2010, and Colquitt County defeated Vista Murrietta 26-7 in 2017. 

Milton also will play in the second Atlanta Freedom Bowl on Aug. 19-21 on its home field. The matchups for those six games haven’t been announced. Milton defeated Cardinal Gibbons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 42-17 in that event last season. 

Milton will open its season on Aug. 23 against Buford in the Corky Kell Classic.

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