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Football Pairings Set For 2013 AHSAA Champions Challenge
Six teams have been selected for the eighth annual Champions Challenge pre-season football classic set for Aug. 23-24 at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl.
Walker High School will face Benjamin Russell Friday night, Aug. 23 in the first of three games, according Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association.
On Saturday, the two remaining games will be played, beginning at 5 p.m. with Walter Wellborn and Straughn squaring off in the small-school game. Class 6A teams Enterprise and Bob Jones will meet in the final game at 7:30 p.m.
Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said his team is excited to be a part of the Champions Challenge. "When I told our kids we had been selected, they really let out a loud cheer," he said. "This gives our kids a chance to play in a championship game-like atmosphere against a quality opponent on a big stage. We are really looking forward to it."
Walter Wellborn was 9-3 in 2012 and averaged 40.7 points per game while advancing to the second round of the state playoffs. Straughn, coached by Trent Taylor, was 10-4 and played in the Class 3A state semifinals last season. The Tigers finished the regular season as the fourth seed in Class 3A, Region 1.
Benjamin Russell (11-2) and Walker (9-4) each reached the Class 5A quarterfinals last season. Coach Danny Horn's Wildcats also tied a school record for victories (11) in a single season while averaging 32.8 points and allowing only 11.3 per game. Benjamin Russell also had a nine-game winning streak to start the season. Coach John Holladay's Vikings, like Benjamin Russell, won a region title en route to nine wins. Walker averaged 21.5 points per game on the year.
Enterprise (7-4) earned a berth in the 6A playoffs in Coach David Faulkner's first season as head coach, and Bob Jones (8-4) won its region and reached the second round of the 6A playoffs under Coach Kevin Rose's direction. Both teams averaged 32.2 points per game in 2012.
In last year's Champions Challenge, Spanish Fort beat Muscle Shoals 33-22, Central of Clay County stopped Beauregard 25-13 and McGill-Toolen blanked Northridge 27-0.
All games will be web streamed live over the AHSAA TV Network and broadcast live by the AHSAA Radio Network.
The schedule at Cramton Bowl for 2013 is:
Friday, August 23 – 7 p.m.: Walker (9-4) vs. Benjamin Russell (11-2)
Saturday, August 24 – 5 p.m.: Walter Wellborn (9-2) vs. Straughn (10-4)
Saturday, August 24 – 7:30 p.m.: Bob Jones (8-4) vs. Enterprise (7-4)