This annual tradition promises a doubleheader of regional match-ups, new partnerships, and fun for the entire community.
Charlotte, NC — Scholastic Sports Marketing (SSM) is proud to announce the sixth installment of “Charlotte Kickoff Night, powered by OrthoCarolina.” Having reached a significant marker in the history of this brand, the first five years have proven that this event has become highly anticipated in and around the Charlotte community. Once again “Charlotte Kickoff Night, powered by OrthoCarolina” will be played at Memorial Stadium in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, this time on Saturday August 18, 2018.
“OrthoCarolina is a proven, long-time supporter of high school football across the region. We are thrilled to have schools from beyond the Charlotte metro, for the first time, coming to this event,” said Blair Primis, Vice President of Marketing for OrthoCarolina. “We love the collaboration with our partners to help power meaningful events throughout this community.”
Game One, at 5:00pm, Butler will line up against Scotland High (Laurinburg, NC) in a contest that will feature two schools with proud, winning traditions. These two perennial NC powers share a combined record of 46-8 over the past two seasons and have collectively won 4 state titles dating back to 2009. (3 Butler; 1 Scotland)
In 2017, the Butler Bulldogs finished the season with an overall mark of 8-3, with a state ranking of 24th. A stalwart in Southwestern 4A football, Butler’s head coach Brian Hales knows how to keep his squad on a championship pace. An early playoff exit in 2017 has been a motivator this offseason. The opener with Scotland will be true gauge as to where the Bulldogs will stack up for the 2018 season. A contributing factor for 2018 success will be Butler’s quarterback and their offensive line.
Butler’s opponent, The Fighting Scots, dominated their conference season in 2017, going undefeated through the seven game campaign. Walking off the field last December as the championship runner up, the Fighting Scots finished fifth in the AP North Carolina poll. Scotland High is planning its 2018 success around a running game that may prove to be one of the best in the state. Head Coach Richard Bailey make the one and a half hour trek west with his team in hopes of securing their first of 2018.
Game Two, at 8:00pm, is one that can be classified as “many years in the making” as Mallard Creek will face Dutch Fork (Irmo, SC). In 2014, the head coaches from each program were quoted as being interested in a possible match up one day. That day is now August 18, 2018. These two football powers have a combined record of 51-5 over the past two seasons and have collectively won 6 state titles dating back to 2009. (3 each) This is the first ever matchup between these two programs.
The Mavericks, a staple in the conversation of state champions, finished 2017 with a record of 14-1 and the honor of being ranked second in the state. Head Coach Mike Palmieri ran the schedule undefeated until a lone loss against Wake Forest in the state championship game. Putting up blistering scoring totals last season, Mallard Creek has spent the off-season thinking about not posting any points in the last game of 2017. In 2018, the defense line and linebacking core return with explosive power and highly recruited student-athletes.
The Silver Foxes opened last season in Charlotte, at Independence High. 51 points were tallied that night in mid-August as Dutch Fork set a pace of scoring that would result in scoreboards reading “49” “67” and “58” throughout their 13-1 season. Head Coach Tom Knotts has guided his team to back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017, and a third straight is predicated this season. The opening game in August in Charlotte will test his team and its ability to make it back to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia in December. All three disciplines of the Dutch Fork program are as solid as any in the country.
“Six years and growing,” said James Companion of Scholastic Sports Marketing, with great enthusiasm. “As the Charlotte Kickoff Night event continues to grow in the expectations of area high school fans, so does our own expectation of the quality of match-ups.” Companion added, “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from OrthoCarolina and all of the participating schools as we all continue to provide a positive experience for the youth of our community and in towns across the Carolinas.”
Memorial Stadium has been a sports venue staple within Uptown Charlotte since it’s construction in the late 1930’s. While an extended amount of time has passed, the city and county have done their part to keep the historic stadium a destination for teams, events and leagues. A number of renovations and upgrades have been completed over the past two years, most notably a new press box on the north side of the stadium – including accessible seating – a (relatively) new concourse also on the north side of the stadium, a new south side retaining wall, new stadium lighting, and improved bleacher seating.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Middle School Athletics.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online: $10 for Saturday’s double header.
Saturday, August 18, 2018 – Memorial Stadium
Game 1: 5:00pm – Butler vs Scotland High
Game 2: 8:00pm* – Mallard Creek vs Dutch Fork
*Approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the previous game
OrthoCarolina is one of the nation’s leading independent academic orthopedics practices serving North Carolina and the Southeast since 1922. We provide comprehensive musculoskeletal care including operative and non-operative care, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitative therapy. Widely known for musculoskeletal research and training, our physicians have specialized expertise in foot & ankle, hip & knee, shoulder & elbow, spine, sports medicine, hand, pediatric orthopedics, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.
OrthoCarolina. You. Improved. Visit OrthoCarolina online at www.OrthoCarolina.com.
About Scholastic Sports Marketing (SSM)
Charlotte, NC based Scholastic Sports Marketing is one of America’s fastest growing high school multimedia and marketing management companies. SSM represents some of the nation’s top scholastic properties including the nationally televised Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, large athletic conferences, state associations and some of the most prominent high schools in the country. Scholastic Sports Marketing’s mission is to enhance the overall experience for high school
student-athletes by developing new revenue streams while fostering the image and awareness level of the athletic events, conferences and institutions in which they participate. Visit Scholastic Sports Marketing on the web at www.SSMllc.com.