GAINESVILLE — The Gainesville High football team will play in the annual Corky Kell Classic in August, head coach Heath Webb announced on Monday.
The Red Elephants will kick off the 2021 season against Johns Creek at City Park on August 20.
"We're excited about it," he said. "It's obviously the premier kickoff event in the country and just to even be considered for it is an honor. For them to choose City Park as the host site is super exciting. It's an awesome moment for our program. We're looking forward to it."
The Corky Kell Classic selects teams across the state to play in the annual event, normally played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Rome Braves' Baron Stadium. Last year, however, due to COVID-19, the nine games were played at a participating school. The teams play to help raise money for the Corky Kell Scholarship Fund.
The Red Elephants will be making their first appearance in the Classic, representing Region 6-7A. The region's 2020 champ, West Forsyth, played in the event last season, beating Mays 42-6.
"They are taking upward trending programs that have unique venues," Webb said about being selected. "For us to be considered an upward trending program with a unique venue, it gives us a great sense of pride knowing that's kind of how were selected."
Gainesville ended their first season in Class 7A with a 6-5 overall record and 4-2 in Region 6-7A play. They were the No. 3 seed in the state tournament. Johns Creek was 4-5 overall and 4-2 in Region 7-6A play.
Webb said he's going to need a couple of days to find some film on Johns Creek to answer any questions about the pending matchup.
"It's way too early to tell," he said. "Obviously, they've got a real good football program, and they've done a really nice job over the last few years. If you're in the Corky Kell Classic, the competition is really good. So, it'll be a good one."