Notebook: Corky Kell Classic not the only multi-game event this weekend

The Corky Kell Classic can call itself the daddy of all multi-game events that help kick off the high school football season in Georgia, but it isn't the only show of its kind in the state this week. Three other venues will stage doubleheaders or tripleheaders on Saturday, and each has attracted state-ranked teams.

Here's a closer look at the three:

*Battleground Kickoff Classic (Columbus Memorial Stadium): Six Class A private schools are playing in this new event. The matchups are No. 4 Eagle's Landing Christian vs. No. 10 Mount Paran Christian (10 a.m.), Landmark Christian vs. Christian Heritage (1 p.m.) and No. 5 Mount Pisgah Christian vs. Brookstone (4 p.m.). Those games will be streamed live on The event covers two days as the teams will arrive Friday for a meal. Guest speakers will be Georgia Tech team chaplain Derrick Moore on Friday and former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden on Saturday. "It's almost a bowl-type atmosphere with the things they have planned," Mount Pisgah Christian coach Mike Forester said.

*Labor Day Classic (Tri-Cities High): Carver of Columbus plays Carver of Atlanta in the opener of a tripleheader at 2:30 p.m., followed by host Tri-Cities against Hardaway, then Mays against Hughes. The two Carvers (both named after George Washington Carver) have not met in football since 1963, when both were members of the Georgia Interscholastic Association, which governed sports for African-American schools. The Mays-Hughes game matches 10th-ranked teams - Hughes in AAAAAA, Mays in AAAAA. This event is in its third year. So why is it called the Labor Day Classic? That was the weekend it was first played in 2012, and it will return there next season.

*Erk Russell Classic (Georgia Southern): Third-ranked Coffee of Class AAAAA plays North Oconee, which features Super 11 RB Kawon Bryant, in a 5 p.m. game. Burke County and Statesboro play the second game. Burke County coach Eric Parker, a former Georgia Southern player, will be having a homecoming.

Is it hot enough for you?

The hottest games tonight are expected to take place at Swainsboro's Tiger Field and Lowndes' Concrete Palace, also known as Martin Stadium. According to, the high temperature in the cities of Valdosta and Swainsboro will be 102 degrees today. Swainsboro is playing Vidalia, while Lowndes is playing Roswell, where it would've been a chilly 93 degrees had the northern invaders stayed home to play at Ray Manus Field. Here are other highs from around the state in cities that will be host to high school football tonight. The forecasts were taken at 2 p.m. Thursday.

99 - Augusta

91 - Dalton

99 - Dublin

100 - Homerville

97 - Jefferson

93 - Marietta

100 - Macon

100 - Metter

100 - Ocilla

95 - Rome

95 - Savannah

102 - Swainsboro

97 - Thomasville

102 - Valdosta

99 - Warner Robins

Hottest day ever at the Corky Kell

The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-90s on Friday and Saturday in Powder Springs, where the Corky Kell Classic will be played. The move out of the Georgia Dome and into McEachern's Cantrell Stadium, which seats about 10,000, was made last spring because of a rare conflict with the Falcons' preseason schedule. The heat on Cantrell's artificial turf is a concern to Dave Hunter, an event co-founder. "We're taking proactive steps to help with that. We're talking daily to players about hydrating. We'll extend halftime or have more timeouts, if necessary. We'll have cool mist on the sidelines. There will be cooling stations for fans, where they can lie down."

The venue is just one big change for the Corky Kell. It will be played over two days instead of one and feature seven games. There were five in 2013. It began with only two games 22 years ago. The games will be televised on Fox Sports South instead of GPB.

Another big change is transportation. With five games on Saturday starting at 8:45 a.m., there will be a revolving door of fan bases that won't stop moving until the sun goes down. Attendance for the one-day event at the Georgia Dome typically reached 25,000 to 30,000. Event co-founder Dave Hunter said there will be satellite parking, shuttle buses and plenty of signage to help fans find their way.

Lee County, Westover to play morning game

Lee County and Westover have moved the start time of their Saturday game in Leesburg to 9 a.m., instead of the originally scheduled 1 p.m., because of concerns about the heat, according to the Albany Herald. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 101 degrees on Saturday. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and replayed during its original 1 p.m. time slot. It is one of five games that will air on the ESPN networks Saturday as part of the 2014 High School Kickoff Classic. Buford will host Trinity Christian of Florida at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. "Safety needs to be the first and foremost concern," Lee County football coach Dean Fabrizio told the Herald. "When the temperature gets over 100 degrees, it's not smart to play the game. I think this is a good thing for the kids."

Dacula to honor longtime PA announcer

Joe Ford, who was Dacula's public-address announcer for 40 years (1974-2013), will be honored at tonight's Dacula-Collins Hill game. Ford is a 1967 graduate of Dacula. Ford has called out the names of Georgia greats from George Rogers of Duluth to Jeff Francoeur of Parkview to Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson through the years, not to mention Dacula stars Terry Harvey and Kenny Irons. Ford's most memorable line, which he started in 1974, was "You are now in Falcon Country." The press box is now named in Ford's honor. A pretty good game should follow. Dacula and Collins Hill each made the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals last year. Neither is ranked.

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