The 2018 Georgia Elite Classic is adding Seventh and Eighth Grade All-Star Games for its first-ever seven-game lineup that will be played on Dec. 27-28 at McEachern's Cantrell Stadium. Starting with the Seventh Grade Game at 4 p.m. and the Eighth Grade Game at 6 p.m. on Dec. 27th, the Classic will conclude on the 28th with the Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior games and the first-ever Brain Bowl.
"It's amazing to go back and look to see who at a very young age played in this game and where they are going today," said I.J. Rosenberg, president of Score Atlanta and executive director of the Georgia Elite Classic. "You can bet that the two games this season will feature some of the best players in Georgia in a few years and they will he headed to some of the best football schools in the country. We're excited about having these kids."
The event featured an Eighth Grade Game in its inaugural year (2013), and those rosters, which represented a seemingly distant Class of 2018, proved to be packed with some of the most talented players in the country. Florida signee Emory Jones of Heard County and UNC signee Cade Fortin of North Gwinnett led the quarterbacks in the matchup, while big names like center Warren Ericson (North Gwinnett, Georgia); wide receiver Zach Williams (Johns Creek, Arizona); cornerback Kyler McMichael (Greater Atlanta Christian, Clemson); Jamarcus Chatman (Rome, FSU); Realus George (Pace Academy, Miami) and RB Rico Frye (Cartersville, Bowling Green) also formed the rosters.
||2013 8th Grade Game. Credit: Rob Saye
In 2014, the Eighth Grade Game featured the Class of 2019, which will be representing the state as seniors in the fall this upcoming season. This impressive group included:
OLB Owen Pappoe (Grayson, Auburn); WR Dominick Blaylock (Walton, UGA); RB Steele Chambers (Blessed Trinity, Ohio State); TE Ryland Goede (Kennesaw Mountain, UGA); OC Jakai Clark (Grayson, Auburn); CB Kenyatta Watson II (Grayson, Texas); LS Quentin Skinner (Buford, LSU); 4-stars SDE Justin Eboigbe (Forest Park), S Jaylen McCollough (Hillgrove) and 3-stars CB DJ Turner (North Gwinnett), OG Riley Simonds (Buford), QB Ross Malmgram (North Paulding), RB Paris Brown Jr. (McEachern), ATH Isiah Grant (North Paulding), CB Emmanuel Jenkings (Sequoyah), DL Derrick McClendon (Tucker) and ATH Malik Washington (Parkview)
This will be a great opportunity to get an early look at some of the state's most promising young stars, and the same selection committees and coach-based nominations will be used to determine the rosters in each of the games. Not only will these middle schoolers get a chance to play in the game, but they will get to bump shoulders with those participating in the five other games from check-in on Dec. 26 until the final game. Players will report on Dec. 26 at 9 a.m. and will have two practices that day and then one more practice the morning of the 27th before the games kick off. All players will receive a jersey and the official Georgia Elite Classic player pack. Nominations for players in all grades and games will open June 1, and for more information go to GeorgiaEliteClassic.com.
2018 GEORGIA ELITE CLASSIC SCHEDULE
At McEachern High School
Friday, Dec. 27
Seventh Grade Game 4 p.m.
Eighth Grade Game 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 28
Freshman Game 9:30 a.m.
Sophomore Game 12 p.m.
Junior Game 2:30 p.m.
Brain Bowl 5 p.m.
Senior Game 7:30 p.m.