ESPN Presents the 2014 High School Football Kickoff

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ESPN Presents the 2014 High School Football Kickoff

Editor’s Note: Schedule, ESPN 300 and national rankings have changed since first announcement. Updated information here:

August 22, 23 and 24:  Ten Games, Nine 2013 State Champions, 18 Players in the ESPN 300

ESPN presents the 2014 High School Football Kickoff launching its 2014-2015 high school television coverage with games from Friday, August 22 through Sunday, August 24. ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU will televise 10 games featuring nine  state champions and 18 seniors ranked in the ESPN 300, including: No. 1 Trenton Thompson (DT) on Westover (GA) , No. 3 Kevin Toliver II (CB) on Trinity Christian Academy (FL), and No. 4 Josh Sweat (DE) on Oscar Smith (VA).  Additionally, seven states will be represented in the kickoff and 11 teams will make their ESPN debut. The 2014 High School Football Kickoff will conclude ESPNU’s Summer of Next.

2014 High School Football Kickoff Schedule:
(All times ET)

Friday, August 22

Byrnes (SC) vs. Northwestern (SC)
6 p.m. on ESPNU from Rock Hill District 3 Stadium, Rock Hill, S.C.

  • Byrnes (SC) advanced to the semifinal round of the 4A South Carolina Playoffs and finished 12-2 last season
  • Byrnes (SC) has won eight South Carolina State Championships since 2002
  • Northwestern (SC) won their second 4A state championship, capping off an undefeated season at 15-0 last season

Leeds (AL) vs. Madison Academy (AL)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Madison Academy, Madison, Ala.  

  • Rematch of the 2013 3A State Championship game in which Madison Academy won 31-14
  • Leeds went 12-3 last season and returns junior quarterback TaDarryl Marshall
  • Madison Academy has won 25 consecutive games and back-to-back  Alabama 3A State Championships
  • Athlete Kerryon Johnson, No. 23 in the ESPN 300 and Auburn commit, returns for Madison Academy

Saturday, August 23

Miami Central (FL) vs. Hoover (AL)
12 p.m. on ESPN from Buccaneer Stadium, Hoover High School, Hoover, Ala. 

  • Both Miami Central (FL) and Hoover (AL) won a 2013 state championship
  • Miami Central (FL), coming off their third state title and a 13-1 season, returns wide receiver  Da’Vante Phillips, No. 40 in the ESPN 300, and safety Calvin Brewton, a Florida State commit
  • Hoover (AL) returns defensive end Christian Bell, No. 214 in the ESPN 300 and Alabama commit,  and a number of Division I recruits who contributed to their 15-0 campaign last season

 Westover (GA) vs. Lee County (GA)
1 p.m. on ESPNU from Lee County High School, Leesburg, Ga.

  • Defensive tackle Trenton Thompson, No. 1 in the ESPN 300, returns for Westover (GA)
  • Westover (GA) advanced to the second round of the Georgia 4A State Playoffs, finishing the 2013 season at 9-3
  • Lee County (GA) defeated Westover (GA) last season during a 10-2 season in which they advanced to the second round of the Georgia 5A State Playoffs

Niceville (FL) vs. Clay-Chalkville (AL)
4 p.m. on ESPNU from Buccaneer Stadium, Hoover High School, Hoover, Ala. 

  • Niceville (FL) appeared in the Florida 7A State Championship game, finishing 13-2 last season
  • Clay-Chalkville (AL) advanced to the second round of the Alabama 6A State Playoffs, capping off their 2013 season at 10-2

Booker T. Washington (FL) vs. Oscar Smith (VA)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Beard, DeLong, Easley Stadium at Oscar Smith High School, Chesapeake, Va.

  • Defensive end Josh Sweat, No.  4 in the ESPN 300, returns for Oscar Smith (VA)
  • Booker T. Washington (FL)  finished No. 1 in the nation last year, concluding their season with a perfect 14-0 record and a Florida 4A State Championship
  • Oscar Smith (VA) finished the 2013 season with a 14-1 record and an appearance in the Virginia 6A State Championship game

Trinity Christian (FL) vs. Buford (GA)
9 p.m. on ESPN2 from Buford High School, Buford, Ga.

  • Both Trinity Christian (FL) and  Buford (GA) won a 2013 state championship
  • Trinity Christian (FL) coming off their Florida 3A State Championship returns  a roster that has five players ranked in the ESPN 300: No. 3 Kevin Toliver II (CB), No. 24 Jeffery Holland (OLB), No. 69 Kendrick Norton (OG), No. 154 Ben Edwards (S), and No. 192 Deontai Williams (S)
  • Buford (GA), coming off their 15-0 campaign,  returns a number of recruits, including offensive lineman Blake Ferguson (LSU commit)

Sunday, August 24

Oakland (TN) vs. Blackman (TN)
12 p.m. on ESPN2 from Blackman High School, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

  • Rematch: Blackman (TN) defeated Oakland (TN) in the third round Tennessee 6A State Playoffs
  • Outside linebacker Josh Smith, No. 229 in the ESPN 300 , returns for Oakland (TN) who is coming off a 12-1 season
  • Athlete Jauan Jennings, No. 179 in the ESPN 300,  returns for Blackman (TN) who appeared in the Tennessee 6A Semifinals

Dwyer (FL) vs. American Heritage (FL)
3 p.m. on ESPN from American Heritage School, Plantation, Fla.

  • Both Dwyer (FL) and American Heritage (FL) won a 2013 Florida State Championship
  • Wide receiver  Tavares Martin, No. 289 in the ESPN 300,  returns for Dwyer (FL) who is coming off their second Florida 7A State Championship
  • Athlete Torrance Gibson, No. 12 in the ESPN 300, and cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, No. 64 in the ESPN 300, return to American Heritage (FL)

Nixa (MO) vs. Helias (MO)
4:30 p.m. on ESPNU from Helias High School, Jefferson City, Mo.

  • Nixa (MO) advanced to the third round of the Missouri Class 5 State Playoffs last season, finishing at 9-2
  • Tight end Hale Hentges, No. 58 in the ESPN 300 and Alabama commit, returns for Helias (MO) who appeared in the Missouri Class 4 State Championship, finishing the season at 12-3

ESPN’s recruiting site will provide fans with in-depth analysis of the entire 2014 High School Football Kickoff, including features on teams and recruits, as well as updated player profiles. Additionally, interact with Recruiting Nation’s reporters and analysts by following @ESPNRNFball.

ESPN 300 Participants

Rank and Player Position High School
No. 1 Trenton Thompson Defensive Tackle Westover (GA)
No. 3 Kevin Toliver II Cornerback Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 4 Josh Sweat Defensive End Oscar Smith (VA)
No. 12 Torrance Gibson Athlete American Heritage (FL)
No. 23 Kerryon Johnson Athlete Madison Academy (AL)
No. 24 Jeffery Holland Outside Linebacker Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 40 Da’Vante Phillips Wide Receiver Miami Central (FL)
No. 58 Hale Hentges Tight End Helias (MO)
No. 64 Tarvarus McFadden Cornerback American Heritage (FL)
No. 69 Kendrick Norton Offensive Guard Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 109 Jack Jones Offensive Guard Oakland (TN)
No. 154 Ben Edwards Safety Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 179 Jauan Jennings Athlete Blackman (TN)
No. 192 Deontai Williams Safety Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 214 Christian Bell Defensive End Hoover (AL)
No. 229 Josh Smith Outside Linebacker Oakland (TN)
No. 252 Bradrick Shaw Running back Hoover (AL)
No. 289 Tavares Martin Wide Receiver Dwyer (FL)

2014 High School Football Showcase
ESPN will once again televise the High School Football Showcase, featuring premiere high school football games throughout the 2014 football season. The Showcase schedule will be announced later this summer.   The ESPN High School Football Kickoff and ESPN High School Football Showcase are produced in conjunction with Paragon Marketing Group.


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner


Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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