Valley Preps

Central-Hoover showdown set for Aug. 19 in Champions Challenge

David Mitchell

The oft-discussed matchup between Class 7A state football powers Central and Hoover was confirmed for Friday, Aug. 19 in a release from the Alabama High School Athletic Association on Tuesday.

The two teams will meet in the 2016 Champions Challenge, which will kick off the high school football season. Two other games will be held on Aug. 18 (Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa vs. Demopolis) and Aug. 20 (Andalusia vs. Brooks), as well.

Both Hoover and Central participated in this past season’s Class 7A semifinals, though not against each other and neither advanced to the state championship game.

The programs have met just once in their history, in 1978 when Hoover was still called Berry High School. Berry won that game 21-14.

Central coach Jamey DuBose, however, has a long history against the Buccaneers, defeating them in the 2008 and 2011 state championship games and losing once to them in 2009.

The game is expected to feature a number of high-profile recruits from both teams, including Alabama’s top player for 2017, Central linebacker Markail Benton, and one of the nation’s top receivers for 2018, Justyn Ross.