It won’t take long for the county to gain exposure with McEachern’s trip to Buford kicking off GPB’s slate Aug. 29.
Buford, last year’s Class AAA state champion with a spotless 15-0 record, is coached by former Marietta High School standout Jess Simpson. It will be only the third time Simpson has coached against a Cobb County team, following two meetings with Walker in 2006 and ’07.
McEachern, which went 11-3 last year and made the Class AAAAAA state semifinals, will also be featured in an Oct. 10 game at North Cobb. The all-Cobb matchup will feature some of the state’s top college-bound talents in the Indians’ Ty Griffin (Oregon), Chuma Edoga (Southern Cal) and Chandler Jones (Louisville), and Warriors’ Tyler Queen (Auburn).
Two weeks before the McEachern-North Cobb game, GPB will feature Hillgrove in its Sept. 26 trip to Marietta. The two Region 4AAAAAA rivals are both looking for return trips to the state playoffs, with the Hawks going 11-2 in 2013, and the Blue Devils 8-3.
Walton will host Milton for an Oct. 17 broadcast. The Raiders, beginning a new era with first-year coach Mo Dixon, went 6-5 last year and will be looking to avenge a loss to their Region 5AAAAAA rival.
“We have a great lineup of games this year featuring several defending state championship teams, great rivalry games, and teams loaded with Division I talent that everyone will enjoy watching play,” GPB sports director Mark Harmon said in a release.
The GPB broadcasting crew will be led by Matt Stewart on play-by-play. Stewart was a longtime on-air figure for Comcast Sports Southeast before the regional sports cable network ceased operations earlier this summer.
Larry Smith, the sports director at CBS46, will rotate with former Atlanta Falcons star Chuck Smith on color commentary.
With its two GPB games, McEachern is now guaranteed at least three televised games, on top of the season-opening Corky Kell Classic at Walter Cantrell Stadium. All seven games of the newly expanded two-day Classic will be broadcast on SportSouth, Fox’s regional sports cable network, with radio coverage on 92.9 The Game.
McEachern will host North Gwinnett in final Classic game, Aug. 23 at 8:45 p.m. Kell will begin that day’s broadcasts with a 9 a.m. kickoff against a Carrollton team led by former longtime Walton coach Ed Dudley.