University City

Football Kickoff Night to feature game between defending state champions

The 2014 high school football season will open with Kickoff Night Aug. 21 and 23, headlined by a matchup between defending public school and private school state champions.

The event, in its second year, will feature a doubleheader Thursday night at Memorial Stadium and a third game Saturday at Providence Day.

The first game of the Thursday night doubleheader is between Sun Valley and Hough at 5:30 p.m. Sun Valley played in the event last season, losing to Charlotte Christian 28-19.

The late game Thursday night, scheduled for 7:45 p.m., will be between N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I state champions Charlotte Christian and N.C. 4AA state champions Mallard Creek, a rare contest between Charlotte public and private school teams.

The Mavericks and Knights finished undefeated last season.

“It’s great for the city,” Charlotte Christian coach Jason Estep said. “You’re taking the best public school in the state of North Carolina versus the best private school in the state of North Carolina and you see what happens. It’ll draw some attention.”

Providence Day will host Charlotte Catholic at 7 p.m. Saturday in the event's final game.

Three of the six teams will have new coaches when they kick off the season: Mike Brodowicz at Charlotte Catholic, Miles Aldridge at Hough and Tad Baucom at Sun Valley.

“You can put that up on the bulletin board, that we’re going to be in a showcase game,” Brodowicz said. “We’ve come to really embrace these games and enjoy them and I think these kids really rise to the occassion.”