Two of the country’s best high school football teams will take the field this weekend and FOX Sports Arizona will be there.
This year’s 9th annual Sollenberger Classic, which pits two of Arizona’s top teams against two from Nevada to open the season, features No. 1 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman and No. 22 Phoenix Mountain Pointe (rankings according to USA TODAY).
Bishop Gorman and Mountain Pointe won’t play each other, though — that happened last season — but that should make for more good football from Gorman’s multi-million-dollar, college-like stadium. Gorman will face Phoenix Brophy at 7 p.m. Friday, and Mountain Pointe will take on Sparks Reed, from northern Nevada, at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Sollenberger Classic honors the late Barry Sollenberger, a former Arizona Interscholastic Activities employee. As the AIA’s sports historian, Sollenberger was devoted to documenting the achievements of high school athletes in the state of Arizona.
Arizona schools are 7-2 in the Classic.
Gorman will look to tilt that scale back its direction and it certainly has the firepower to do so. The Gaels, the five-time reigning state champs from the Silver State, feature Alize Jones, the top-rated tight end in the country, four-star receiver Cordell Broadus, son of rapper Snoop Dogg, and Notre Dame-bound safety Nicco Fertitta, whose father co-owns UFC.
Brophy, which is coming off an injury-plagued season a year ago, can counter with defensive end Connor Murphy, who is being recruited by Stanford and Arizona State, as well as returners at quarterback and running back in Cade Knox and Ryan Velez.
In Saturday’s matchup, Mountain Pointe must replace 14 starters from last year’s Division I state championship team, but the Pride have speedster and highly sought after recruit Paul Lucas in the backfield and Nick Carman and Bruce Hester along the lines.
Reed — which has been bounced from the Nevada state playoffs by Gorman each of the past five years, including twice in the title game — should matchup with Mountain Pointe in terms of size along the lines. But even with its up-tempo, no-huddle offense, the Raiders could be exposed by the Pride’s speed and athleticism.
In addition to being seen locally on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, the games will receive national exposure. Both games will be televised on five other FOX Sports Networks around the country, heading into homes in Southern California, Detroit, the Texas and states surrounding it, the Southeast and nationwide on the FOX College Sports Pacific channel.
Calling the action for this weekend’s game will be Jim Grieshaber and Dale Hellestrae for Friday’s Brophy Prep/Bishop Gorman game and Craig Grialou and Hellestrae for Saturday’s Mountain Pointe/Reed clash.
Here’s a list of all the networks carrying the games: