Prep Insider Blog

Could Mallard Creek’s football opener be on national TV and in uptown Charlotte?

Mallard Creek could play its highly anticipated high school football season opener with South Carolina power Dutch Fork at Bank of America Stadium.

Mallard Creek athletics director Phil Davanzo told the Observer that the schools are in talks with Carolina Panthers officials about playing the game in uptown Charlotte on Friday, Aug. 23.

It is, however, Dutch Fork’s home game and is scheduled for now to be played at the school, located just outside Columbia.

Davanzo said the game — whether it’s played in Charlotte or Irmo, S.C. — could be televised nationally on ESPN2. Davanzo said the schools are still working through the details of a proposed contract with the network.

With Mallard Creek being the official “away” team, playing an out-of-state opponent, it may allow the Mavericks to skirt a N.C. High School Athletic Association mandate that its teams not play regular-season games that are televised live.

This is the second-straight year the teams were scheduled to kick off the season against each other.

Last fall, the teams never got started at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, due to inclement weather.

Dutch Fork went onto win its third straight S.C. Class 5A state title. This year, the team will feature quarterback Ty Olenchuk and wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, a Virginia Tech recruit. Olenchuk is a Clemson baseball commit who threw for 3,804 yards and 42 TDs last season.

Mallard Creek has won three state championships in the past six seasons. The Mavericks were 10-1 last season and will feature outside linebacker/running back Trenton Simpson, a top-five, in-state recruit in the class of 2020.