Corky Kell to feature Gwinnett-Cobb showdowns

Once head football coaches in a groundbreaking event, Dave Hunter and Jimmy Dorsey have moved on to other duties.

They stay busy now with non-football endeavors, but neither is ready to give up ties to the Corky Kell Classic, the high school showcase they helped get off the ground 20 years ago at the Georgia Dome. The first event, in 1992, featured two games in a test run that has turned into Georgia's longest-running early-season football showcase.

Its current format features four games - pitting four Gwinnett County schools vs. four Cobb County programs this Saturday - but still features the same allure the event had 20 years ago.

"I think everyone sees it as a premier early-season game," Hunter said. "You're playing in a world-class venue, where the Super Bowl was played. I think everyone still gets excited to be a part of it."

Hunter and Dorsey have taken charge of the event, which honors the memory of their friend and event founder Corky Kell. They promised Kell to keep the showcase going, so they already are looking ahead to future seasons.

Teams from all over the state have played in the past, but the last two years the games have been Gwinnett vs. Cobb.

"We don't know yet (about next year), we'll have to see where we go," Hunter said. "There are no guarantees but we've always said Brookwood and McEachern are the two teams that helped start it so they'll probably be involved. Coach Dorsey and I will talk about that later, but we're excited about the future."

They're excited about the present, too.

This year's games kick off with Grayson vs. Kell just before noon Saturday, followed by Brookwood-Lassiter at 2:30 p.m. The 5:30 p.m. game features North Gwinnett vs. McEachern and the 8:30 nightcap is between Peachtree Ridge and Walton.

Gwinnett won three of the four matchups with Cobb last season.

"There seems to be a lot of interest this year," Hunter said.

Tickets can be purchased this week at the participating schools or at the Dome ticket windows on the day of the games.