Coach Ray Broadaway receives Corky Kell Award at 2017 luncheon

Seth Ellerbee

On Wednesday afternoon at the Marriott Northwest in Atlanta, The MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic luncheon presented by Sports Turf brought together some of the best coaches, athletes and people who have influenced the world of high school football in Georgia.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Corky Kell Award for a distinguished career to former coach Ray Broadaway by the late Corky Kell’s wife, Carole. Broadaway coached Marietta High School for 14 seasons from 1973-86, also coaching at Pope and Sprayberry in the ’80s and early ’90s. Broadaway’s response was short, sweet and to the point.

“I really do appreciate Carole and the Corky Kell Kickoff Classic for providing me with this opportunity,” he said.

Longtime Dacula coach Kevin Maloof was also honored. Maloof, who coached for 26 seasons, 20 of them at Dacula, compiled a 175-105-1 record and five region championships. His brother, Keith, is in his 19th season at Norcross where he has compiled at record of 146-59 with five region championships and two state championships. Their father, George, coached for 26 seasons at St. Pius X, from 1958 to 1983, winning three regions and one state championship.

Seven of the AJC’s Super 11 were present, including Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville; Matthew Hill of Brookwood; Otis Reese of Lee County; Adam Anderson of Rome; Justin Mascoll of South Gwinnett; Kearis Jackson of Peach County; and Brenton Cox of Stockbridge. Reese will play on Thursday at Mercer in the opener, and Hill will play in Game 2 on Saturday in Georgia State Stadium.

This year’s edition of the MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic adds a new location into the mix in Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field), and partner and luncheon emcee I.J. Rosenberg took time to express his thoughts on the new venue.

“The way they have engineered Georgia State Stadium is amazing,” he said. “We feel that the partnership with GSU will be a good one. [GSU Athletic Director] Charlie Cobb worked so hard to put this together over there.”

One of the Classic’s coaches, McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman, explained the importance of an event like the Corky Kell Classic to not just the players but high school football in general in Georgia and the region.

“It is a great event,” Hockman said. “It has been going on a long time and we are just blessed to be a part of it. It shows you the importance of high school football in the Atlanta area, the state of Georgia and the Southeast. You have some really big events where people can come together. You have great people like [Dave] Hunter and [Jimmy] Dorsey that put this together. There are not many events like this in the entire nation.”

McEachern Athletic Director and former head coach Jimmy Dorsey, a Corky Kell organizer, explained the importance of the growth of the event over 26 years and how the event takes a tremendous group effort to be successful.

“It takes a lot of people working toward that common goal of getting this done,” Dorsey said. “Over this 26-year period of time, the good news is, it kind of gradually grew and we were able to grow with it. It is exciting that we can bring these groups of people together who are so important to the event, whether it be schools, coaches, players and all the sponsors. You can’t have an event of this magnitude without all of those sponsors coming together to make it happen.”

Hunter, the longtime coach of Brookwood and co-founder of the Classic, was unable to attend while recovering from heart surgery in July.

The partners and sponsors are an integral part of the Corky Kell Classic. MetroPCS, the title sponsor, was well represented at the luncheon, which was presented by Sports Turf. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta was honored, and the Atlanta Falcons and the College Football Hall of Fame were recognized as well. 92.9 The Game, Elite Sports, Hennessey Ford, Zaxby’s and Gwinnett Medical Center were thanked for their support. On the Border, a new Corky Kell sponsor, catered the luncheon, and Gordo’s Cheese Dip was also provided.

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