While the MHSAA has yet to make an ultimate decision on football in the fall, the coronavirus has claimed high school football’s marquee opening event in the metro Detroit area as the Detroit Sports Commission announced the cancellation of the 2020 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.
The six-game event was scheduled for Aug. 27-29 on the Wayne State campus.
“The Detroit Sports Commission and Xenith are committed to the health and safety of those involved with all of the events we host and/or support,” Dave Beachnau, Detroit Sports Commission senior vice president, said in a statement Thursday. “Since 2005, the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic has provided more than 80 schools in Michigan and neighboring states the opportunity to open their season in a bowl-game like setting on a college campus and we look forward to continuing the tradition at the 2021 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.”
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On Wednesday, the MHSAA announced it was pushing back the start of full-pads practice to Aug. 17, with a decision on whether to delay the season expected around Aug. 20.
The 2020 Prep Kickoff Classic’s scheduled games:
Aug. 27: Canton vs. Dearborn Fordson, 4 p.m.; Chippewa Valley vs. NoDetroit Catholic Central, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28: Birmingham Groves vs. Southfield A&T, 4 p.m.; Lake Orion vs. Macomb Dakota, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29: Detroit Cass Tech vs. Grandville, 1 p.m.; Muskegon Mona Shores vs. River Rouge, 4 p.m.
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Despite the event’s cancellation, Xenith will be awarding equipment grants to three of the programs through the Xenith Passion, Purpose, & Pride Awards. Beginning Monday, the public will be able to vote for, according to Xenith, “the program they feel best demonstrates the values of passion, purpose, and pride in their communities.” The top three vote recipients will receive $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000 in equipment grants from Xenith, a leading helmet manufacturer.
“Across the board, protecting athletes is what we do at Xenith. It is a difficult decision to not move forward with the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic, but it is the right thing to do for the safety of all involved, on and off the field,” said Ryan Sullivan, Xenith CEO.
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