Ark. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic preview

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LITTLE ROCK – It’s that time of year again – a convergence of football, food banks and fearless fans as the 2019 Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic (presented by hootens.com) draws a step closer with the announcement of this year’s eight competing high school squads.

More than 600 high school football players and their coaches from throughout the state gathered Tuesday at the Statehouse Convention Center to celebrate their selection in the Kickoff Classic.  The players and coaches are getting ready for Pep Rally with a Purpose events in their team’s respective hometowns. 

Teams selected to participate in this competitive, championship-caliber high school football showcase: 

Greene County Tech High School in Paragould (the Golden Eagles)
Magnolia High School (the Panthers) 
Osceola High School (the Seminoles)
Prescott High School (the Curley Wolves) 
Rison High School (the Wildcats) 
Valley View High School in Jonesboro (the Blazers) 
Warren High School (the Lumberjacks) 
Westside High School in Jonesboro (the Warriors)

“This is a great lineup of teams, including several state title contenders and dynamic players,” said Chad Hooten of Hooten’s Arkansas Football. “Not only will these teams start the season in grand style, but Arkansas Blue Cross will enable the players, cheerleaders and band members to help their communities while having a lot of fun before the games.” 

“Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is pleased to be presenting the 2019 Kickoff Classic,” said Curtis Barnett, Arkansas Blue Cross president and chief executive officer. “We are especially thrilled to support the teams and the communities in which where they live with our Pep Rally with a Purpose events. Prior to the teams meeting on the gridiron, we will be working side by side with the football teams, cheer teams and band members to pack meals that will be provided to their local food pantries. Because our state is ranked second in the nation in the number of people facing food insecurity, we are making a deeper investment in these communities. In addition to packing meals, we will hold community pep rallies in the teams’ hometowns to celebrate the students’ hard work and support their participation in the Kickoff Classic.”

Following the Pep Rally with a Purpose events, the teams will meet on the field August 26-27. The 2019 Kickoff Classic schedule is as follows: 

Monday, August 26 
Arkansas State University in Jonesboro
Jonesboro Westside vs. Greene County Tech (5:30 p.m.)
Valley View vs. Osceola (7:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, August 27 
Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia
Magnolia vs. Warren (5:30 p.m.)
Rison vs. Prescott (7:30 p.m.)

Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,900 employees. 

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is comprised of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 106 million members – one in three Americans.

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