Press Release

Posted by Gracie Blackburn on July 2, 2012

Twelve Defending State Champions Showcased in Third Annual ESPN High School Football Kickoff


26 Teams from 15 States in 13 Games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3                                                                                                                                      

Twenty-six teams from 15 states will compete in the third annual ESPN High School Football Kickoff, August 24-26, across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The 13 matchups will showcase 11 ESPN 150 ranked players, 12 defending state champions and 18 teams appearing on an ESPN network for the first time.

2012 By The Numbers:

  • 12 defending state champions, including two games with dueling state champions:
    •  Fri, Aug. 24, ESPN2: Good Counsel (MD, WCAC) and Bishop Gorman (NV, 4A)
    •  Sat, Aug. 25, ESPN: Byrnes (SC, 4A Div. 1) and Oscar Smith (VA, Div. 6)
    • Additional state champions playing: Valor Christian (CO, Class 4A), American Heritage (FL, 3A), Staley (MO, Class 5), Ensworth (TN, 2A Div. II), Santa Margarita (CA, Southern Sec. PAC 5), Maryville (TN, 6A), Trotwood–Madison (OH, Div. II) and Gilman (MD).
  • 18 teams appearing on ESPN for the first time (in order of appearance):
    • Providence Catholic (Ill.)
    • Minnetonka (Minn.)
    • Arrowhead (Wis.)
    • Valor Christian (Co.)
    • American Heritage (Fla.)
    • Fork Union Military Academy (Va.)
    • Hermitage (Va.)
    • Staley (Mo.)
    • Lee’s Summit West (Mo.)
    • Ensworth (Tenn.)
    • Lexington Catholic (Ky.)
    • Santa Margarita Catholic (Calif.)
    • Brophy Prep (Ariz.)
    • Alcoa (Tenn.)
    • Maryville (Tenn.)
    • University School (Fla.)
    • Trotwood-Madison (Ohio)
    • Gilman (Md.)
  • Teams from 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Seven states represented for the first time during Kickoff: Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • 11 student-athletes ranked in the ESPN 150: No.10 Christian Hackenberg (QB, Fork Union), No. 19 Cam Burrows (CB, Trotwood-Madison), No. 28 Kendall Fuller (DB, Good Counsel), No.30 Greg Bryant (RB, American Heritage), No.40 Maquedius Bain (DT, University School), No. 45 Jordan Cunningham (WR, University School), No.58 Derrick Green (RB, Hermitage), No. 70 Ty Isaac (RB, Joliet Catholic), No. 76 Dorian O’Daniel (OLB, Good Counsel), No.82 Tarean Folston (ATH, Cocoa), and No. 104 Mike McCray II (OLB, Trotwood-Madison).

2012 ESPN High School Football Kickoff Schedule:

DateTime (ET)GamesLocationNetwork
Fri, Aug 248 p.m.Joliet Catholic Academy (Ill.) vs. Providence Catholic (Ill.)Providence Catholic High SchoolESPNU
 8 p.m.Minnetonka (Minn.) vs. Arrowhead (Wis.)Arrowhead High SchoolESPN3
 9 p.m.Good Counsel (Md.) vs. Bishop Gorman (Nev.)Bishop Gorman High SchoolESPN2
 10 p.m.Mullen (Co.) vs. Valor Christian (Co.)Valor Christian High SchoolESPN3
Sat, Aug 25noonAmerican Heritage (Fla.) vs. Cocoa (Fla.)Cocoa High SchoolESPN
 3 p.m.Fork Union Military Academy (Va.) vs. Hermitage (Va.)Oscar Smith High SchoolESPNU
 3:30 p.m.Staley (Mo.) vs. Lee’s Summit West (Mo.)Lee’s Summit West High SchoolESPN
 7 p.m.Byrnes (S.C.) vs. Oscar Smith (Va.)Oscar Smith High SchoolESPN
 9 p.m.Ensworth (Tenn.) vs. Lexington Catholic (Ky.)Lexington Catholic High SchoolESPNU
 10 p.m.Santa Margarita (Calif.) vs. Brophy College Prep (Ariz.)Phoenix CollegeESPN2
Sun, Aug 26noonAlcoa (Tenn.) vs. Maryville (Tenn.)Maryville High SchoolESPN2
 3 p.m.University School (Fla.) vs. Trotwood-Madison (Ohio)Kings High SchoolESPN
7 p.m.Gilman (Md.) vs. Moeller (Ohio)Kings High SchoolESPNU

Last year’s ESPN High School Football Kickoff also featured 13 games including: defending Florida 6A Champion Armwood, defending Nevada 4A Champion Bishop Gorman, defending Alabama 6A Champion Prattville and defending Indiana 4A Champion Indianapolis Cathedral.

The ESPN High School Football Kickoff is produced in conjunction with Paragon Marketing Group.


About Paragon Marketing Group

Paragon Marketing Group is a corporate consulting agency specializing in sports, entertainment and cause related sponsorships.  Paragon has partnered with ESPN over the past 10 years to deliver over 200 live high school football and basketball telecasts featuring many of the top teams and players in the nation.  Paragon’s consulting clients include Gatorade, Nature Valley Granola Bars, United Airlines, PNC Bank, Reliant Energy, Bayer and Cuties.



Gracie Blackburn, ESPN,