4 Questions with Border Classic organizer Steve Waters

Today’s interviewee is Glynn County Schools athletic director Steve Waters, the organizer of this week’s seven-game Border Classic between Georgia and Florida teams. The event begins tonight with McIntosh County Academy vs. West Nassau (4:30 p.m.) and Glynn Academy vs. Creekside (7:30 p.m.) The other games are Charlton County vs. University Christian (4:30 p.m.) and Brunswick vs. Bolles (7:30 p.m.) on Friday and Fitzgerald vs. Madison County (1 p.m.), Coffee vs. St. Augustine (4 p.m.) and Richmond Hill vs. Baker County (7:30 p.m.) on Saturday. All games are at Glynn County Stadium in Brunswick.

1. When and how did the idea for the Border Classic come about? “I have wanted to put on a football classic similar to the Corky Kell in Atlanta since 2012 when I became athletic director. This year, our school system invested in Field Turf, and that allowed us to host a football classic. I needed a couple of sponsors to step up to help us pull off a huge event like this. Baker’s Sporting Goods out of Jacksonville and Under Armour stepped up to the plate big time. Not only have they become huge sponsors, but they have helped us get seven really good teams out of Florida to come to southeast Georgia and play every year. We have a five-year contract, and our plan is to expand the event in two years.”

2. What are you hoping the event will accomplish? “Our main goal is to provide a quality football experience for teams from northeast Florida and Georgia to play in each year. In the southeast part of the state, you have to travel one to two hours just to find a non-region game. This event will provide our teams in the southern part of the state a chance to compete without having to travel far. This event will also allow teams from Georgia to play a different opponent almost every year. Our coaches are very excited to be playing a team they have never played before. I hope this might create some border rivalry games. We hope this will be an event that every team in the states of Florida and Georgia will want to compete in every year. Our facility is first class, and we will treat every team like they are from Glynn County.”

3. What did the planning of the event entail? How did you go about putting it together? “There is no doubt that to put on a major event like the Border Classic, you have to have great partners. Once I met Josh Baker, I knew we had that partner. Josh has stepped up and brought in Under Armour. Every player that plays in the Classic will get a nice UA shirt. Josh also had a lot of media connections in Jacksonville. With that partnership, we were able to partner with News4Jax and televise or stream all of the games. Josh has been a huge help. On the planning side, I have a great group of support staff in Glynn County. We are small, but we do not mind working hard to make sure the event is run professionally. Now that we are in game week, I feel like we are ready. We just need good weather.”

4. If you had to pick one game that you or fans in general are most looking forward to seeing, a marquee game if you will, which would it be? “The Border Classic will feature seven games. The highlight game is probably the Brunswick High vs. Bolles game, which will take place on Friday night. However, Florida state champion Madison County will be playing Georgia state champion Fitzgerald, and that should be a great game. I really do not think there will be a bad game. Coffee County is loaded with talent, and they play Saturday. There will be a lot of Division I athletes taking the field over the course of the three-day event. I can’t wait to get it started.”

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