“I plan my whole year around this!” is what I share with my Fans Favorite Fan team every year in June when preparing to cover the event known as The Corky Kell Classic. This high school football event is very special and dear to me. I was born & raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Football has always been my first love in sports and I learned about the sport growing up in the south. I decided to move to Georgia in 2007 with my son (Sean B) preparing for a new life in Atlanta and I didn’t think high school football would be a part of that. The first thing we saw once we got settled in ATL was traffic near the Georgia Dome. I decided to head in that direction of traffic and the rest was history. I’ve attended the Corky Kell Classic for the past 10 years I’ve been living in the city of Atlanta (by way of DeKalb County). The first 6 years I attended Corky Kell as a sports fan and the last 4 years I’ve been a media member covering this event.
This year was my company’s 4th season covering Corky Kell and it was time we recognized what we have done in such a short time. Corky Kell is something that every sports fan in the southeast (especially the state of Georgia) should attend. It isn’t like any other high school football experience. I’ve experienced the top rivalry games in the state of Mississippi, Hoover University in Alabama, the million dollar high school football stadiums experience in Texas, the extreme heat & talent in the state of Florida and the amazing food & dances at high school football tailgates in Louisiana. NOTHING…. I MEAN NOTHING compares to the Corky Kell Classic!
I plan my whole football season around Corky Kell, because it reveals my team’s endurance and how well we can cover other football-related events, tailgates and fan experiences for the upcoming season. We are able to test new equipment and execute new strategies that we created during the summer. If we can’t perform under the pressure of covering 5 high school football games in one day (or 9 games over 3 days) then we cannot produce high quality work for our clients. TRUST me this test works for us. The pressure is needed! Our timing has to be perfect! We have to show up & out!
We learn so much being amongst sports media veterans we respect. We get a chance to speak to recruiting analysts who day in and out are paying attention to things that fans overlook during the recruiting process. We’ve learned how to respect their craft. It is an honor & privilege to be in this space doing what we love while learning from those who have been in this industry more than 10 years. I take pride in that and I have heard from many of them how they have seen our growth & progress in this industry.
When I first went to Corky Kell in the Georgia Dome it was on a Saturday morning around 10:30am and I told my son we would be here all day. We didn’t leave until 11pm that night and I remember my Aunt asked me when we got back to her home, “Did you really stay at the Dome all day?” My reply, “YES and I am doing it again next year!” This year we didn’t go to a familiar site of Corky Kell. As the old Georgia Dome is being replaced by the new Mercedes Benz Stadium we got a chance to test out the new Georgia State Stadium. I don’t know how they did it, but turning a baseball stadium (Turner Field) into a football stadium seems to be the perfect idea Georgia State. You guys are doing great! The lights in this stadium will have you thinking that you entered college football heaven. Take a selfie. You will see. The stadium is impressive!
This stadium was the perfect atmosphere for this event that was celebrating it’s 26th year! From driving to Middle Georgia to cover two games at Mercer University’s Five Star stadium to being at Georgia State’s Stadium for two days the adrenaline was high and there was never a dull moment. Each team fought to the end and every top recruit showed why they are the most sought after players in the state of Georgia.
To me, there is no HS event that has had a bigger impact. It is more than top recruits and ranked teams. It is celebration of our state
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) August 16, 2017
The Corky Kell classic event is more than just high school football. I’ve watched teams come from different areas of this state play in this event and I am shocked to find out how far I would have to go to catch a game on a friday night. This a showcase of great talent in this state and how the student-athletes, coaches, bands, families and even sports media around this state celebrate each other at Corky Kell every year.
This event is something that I’ve share with my son during my single-parent days and when I got married I told my husband, “Pack up the family honey we are going to Corky Kell!” 10 years later I still have the same feelings I had when I walked into the Georgia Dome to watch some of Georgia’s best players & coaches take the field. This past weekend didn’t disappoint. I pray that this feeling never goes away! Now let’s get this football season started!!!!!!!!!!