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CNB Kickoff Classic celebrates 30 years

Conway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff Classic on Aug. 16 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Brooks Stadium on the Coastal Carolina University campus.

“This 30th anniversary edition of the CNB Kickoff Classic will continue a long and valued tradition of assembling with students and supporters of the ten area high schools to celebrate the arrival of a new football season and the beginning of a new school year,” said CNB President Jennings Duncan.  “The anticipation of returning to Coastal Carolina University and playing in the newly expanded Brooks Stadium has created great excitement for everyone.  We applaud and congratulate these young athletes, their coaches and schools as they exhibit the results of intense preparation, conditioning, athletic ability and teamwork.”

Ten local high school football squads are teaming up to give fans a preview of the upcoming season.  Myrtle Beach Seahawks and St. James Sharks will get the action underway to be followed by Green Sea Floyds Trojans versus Socastee Braves, Aynor Blue Jackets versus Carolina Forest Panthers, Waccamaw Warriors versus North Myrtle Beach Chiefs, and closing out the night will be Loris Lions versus Conway Tigers.

According to Aynor Coach Jason Allen, the Kickoff Classic is a big deal for the players and the participating schools.

“It’s obviously a big deal no matter where you play the first time under the lights,” he said. “It will be to another level playing at Coastal with the additions, the turf and the environment. It’s probably the most electric atmosphere of all the jamborees in the state to play in.”

The Blue Jackets will unveil the new uniforms they will wear this season at the Kickoff Classic.

Although Aynor lost to Carolina Forest in this past year’s event, Allen would gladly spot the Panthers a victory if it meant the Blue Jackets could also duplicate the eight-win season of a year ago.

“It’s just a chance to get better,” he said.

Third year Conway Coach Carlton Terry is excited about the event and playing at CCU.

“Conway National Bank always does a great job in the community supporting the schools and athletics,” Terry said. “Having it at Coastal is a good deal for our kids to have an opportunity to play in a Division 1 stadium. I think it is a win-win for Coastal and our communities. It helps us because we can go over and play and not worry about setting it up and getting ready to host. Our kids always look forward to the Kickoff Classic to showcase their talents in front of a big crowd. It’s a big deal for us.”

North Myrtle Beach Coach Matt Reel is excited about the big event.

“The CNB Kickoff Classic is one of the premier preseason outings for all of the Horry County football teams,” Reel said. “Every year my players look forward to performing in front of the big crowds and getting prepared for the first week of high school football. It’s a great addition getting to play at Coastal Carolina this year and experience the facilities and atmosphere of a college setting. North Myrtle Beach High School is honored and excited to get to participate in the Kickoff Classic yearly and can’t wait to get after it again this year against Waccamaw High School.”

St. James Coach Thomas Norwood heard about the event long before coming to Horry County.

“I have only been in this area for the past two seasons but it is an event that I have been hearing about for years,” Norwood said.  “I think any time you can bring a community together for such an event is very positive on the people involved and in the area in general.  With the jamboree being moved to Coastal Carolina, it will only make the event better.  It will give the majority of the players involved an opportunity to play in a college stadium that many will never have again.  All of us should remember what the bank and its employees do to make this work.  It is a huge event for Horry County and each high school’s football program.”

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