The Jets will be one of four teams opening their season in the 13th annual AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic.
The Classic will be played August 23-24 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. The Champions Challenge was designed to pit some of the top teams from year’s past in great games to kickoff the season.
The Friday match-up on August 24 will be between two 7A schools as Thompson faces James Clemens.
James Clemens didn’t make the playoffs last season, falling off from a strong campaign in 2016 that saw them have one of the state’s strongest defenses. They will look to bounce back this season with a big win to start things off.
James Clemens (3-7) is the state’s youngest Class 7A school, opening its doors for the first time in 2012. Coach Wade Waldrop has coached the Jets to a 30-35 overall record, including going 10-2 in 2015 and 8-4 in 2016. James Clemens fell to 3-7 season but is expected to challenge for the Class 7A, Region 8 championship in 2018.
Thompson is led by Mark Freeman, who will enter his fourth year at the helm. The Warriors won the 7A Region 3 championship last year, but fell to Hoover in the semifinals. QB Taulia Tagovailoa was named 7A Back of the Year and passed for almost 4,000 yards last season as a junior.
On Thursday, August 23, defending 1A state champion Sweet Water will take on 3A Clarke County, who was a semifinalist last year, losing to eventual champion Hillcrest-Evergreen.