Doubleheader Kicks Off Charlotte High School Football

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Colin-135 Colin Hoggard
Colin first moved to Charlotte, with his family, in 1994. A proud...
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The 2013 Charlotte High School football season will kickoff on Thursday, August 22 with a doubleheader at American Legion Memorial Stadium on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College. The Kickoff Night powered by OrthoCarolina will begin at 5:30 with the second game following 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The first game pits the Charlotte Christian Knights vs. the Sun Valley Spartans. The second match-up of the night will feature the Independence Patriots against the South Mecklenburg Sabres. A portion of the proceeds from Kickoff Night will benefit Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Middle School Athletics.

The Charlotte Christian Knights won both the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) title and the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) state title. The Knights feature three seniors who have already committed to BCS programs, Tight End Jeb Blazevich will be playing for the Georgia Bulldogs while both Bo Hines and Garrett Bradbury will be suiting up for the NC State Wolfpack. Last season, Sun Valley was co-champs of the Southern Carolina Conference and made a nice run to the third round of the 4A state playoffs before falling to Porter Ridge by a single touchdown.

The Independence Patriots have been royalty in CMS football for nearly 20 years, but following the departure of legendary coach Tom Knotts and several rounds of redistricting, the Big I has taken a bit of a hit. Last season, however, they began to return to form going 10-3, with two of the losses coming to Butler, the second in the state playoffs. After the season, Head Coach Bill Geiler handed over the reigns to Joe Evans, and the 32 year-old Evans will be attempting to lead the Patriots past the second round of the state playoffs since 2009. Evans, who has served as Independence’s offensive coordinator the last three seasons will be leaning heavily on sophomore quarterback Kelvin Hopkins to pilot the Independence offense.

Speaking of sophomores, South Meck’s Zach Gilbert, son of former Panther, Sean Gilbert, is a prospect worth keeping an eye on, whether for fans or quarterbacks. Gilbert registered ten sacks and five forced fumbles as a freshman and has already received an offer from Charlotte. Last year, Charlotte’s explosive offense put on a second half show in Memorial Stadium against Myers Park including a (then) county record of 303 receiving yards for CJ Thompson. The Sabres fell short 41-33, but Coach Rocky White’s explosive offense has made an impression on Sabre fans and should make for a fun second half of the doubleheader.

Both games of the Kickoff Night as well as a full schedule of Charlotte Rivalry Series games (to be announced at a later date) will be carried on WFNZ 610 AM or its sister station WBCN 1660 AM.

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