Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts major announcements ahead of 2023 Corky Kell

The 2023 Georgia High School Football Season will kickoff at Kell High School with a double-header on Wednesday, Aug. 16 for Day 1 of the newly-named Corky Kell Dave Hunter Classic. Former Brookwood head football coach Dave Hunter founded the event in 1992 with Corky Kell, Jimmy Dorsey, Ralph Wilson and the Broncos principal at the time. Their vision to establish an annual kickoff event resulted in Brookwood and McEachern playing in the first-ever football game at the Georgia Dome and the event has grown into the largest and most celebrated kickoff events in the country heading into its 32nd edition. On Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosted a press conference and reception following the announcement to debut the event’s new name and logo.

Each of the 22 head football coaches competing in the 32nd Annual Corky Kell Dave Hunter Classic Aug. 16-19 were in attendance. Additionally, Atlanta’s local news and top sports networks were there to capture the moment and representatives of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation talked about how excited they were to host the event and honor the legacy of Hunter as a true Ambassador of Georgia High School Football.

Georgia Construction stepped up in 2020 as the title sponsor of the event and proudly announced a three-year contract extension to that role. GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines spoke briefly about the event and congratulated Hunter for the work he has done over the last four decades to elevate Georgia high school sports. Rusty Mansell also spoke about the pleasure of working alongside Hunter and his passion for Georgia High School Football and Score Atlanta President and Executive Director of the Classic IJ Rosenberg served as the Master of Ceremonies.

“Dave [Hunter] has been like an older brother to me,” said Rosenberg. “We have been through the good times and the tough times. We’ve argued and cried together and spent long nights and even Sunday mornings together over the years at the Corky Kell. I really love this man and truly am honored to add the name Dave Hunter to the Corky Kell Classic.”

The new logo was then revealed with Rosenberg and Hunter on the stage and Hunter gave his thoughts on what it meant to be included in the name of the event he helped launch in 1992.

“It’s very kind of you all,” said Hunter. “I am humbled that my name is spoken alongside the great name Corky Kell. If you knew him, you knew what a gem he was as a person. Corky Kell got sick in late 1994 right before the games at the Georgia Dome. We thought he had the flu and developed cancer. I went up to visit him and the story goes. I went up and spoke to him and said is there anything I can do for you? He was in bed and he couldn’t speak very well, and he said Yeah. Keep the game going. I said, Okay, I’ll do it. And then he pulled me down to him about a foot in front of his face by the shirt and said, promise me and so I did. And the game is still going.”

The press conference also revealed that the ninth annual Corky Kell Dave Hunter 7-on-7 Tournament will be played this June at Georgia Tech for the first time and will take place over the course of three days with a record-setting 66-team field. Additionally, Rosenberg announced that this year’s Classic will implement the use of instant replay and official reviews in a Georgia High School Football game for the first time to serve as a test-run for further adoption into the future.

2023 Corky Kell Dave Hunter Classic Schedule

Wednesday, August 16th at Kell High School

4:30 p.m. – Johns Creek vs. North Atlanta

8 p.m. – Parkview vs. Kell

Thursday, August 17th at West Forsyth High School

4:30 p.m. – Archer vs. North Forsyth

8 p.m. – Cherokee vs. West Forsyth

Friday, August 18th at Rome’s Barron Stadium

2:30 p.m. – Mt. Pisgah vs. Fellowship Christian

5:30 p.m. – Cass vs. Kennesaw Mountain

8:30 p.m. – Creekside vs. Rome

Saturday, August 19th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

10 a.m. – Norcross vs. Marietta

1 p.m. – Brookwood vs. McEachern

4 p.m. – Mill Creek vs. North Gwinnett

7 p.m. – Grayson vs. Walton

The link for the full press conference is posted below

WATCH LIVE: Major announcement ahead of 2023 Corky Kell Classic



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