For the first time in more than 12 years, all high schools in the Seattle Public Schools district will compete in the same league. This weekend, the Metro League will celebrate its reunification with the Memorial Football Classic, a two-day, 10-team football event.
On Tuesday, team captains, coaches and school district representatives came together for a media day at Ballard High School. Oh yeah, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith was there, too. The Seahawks linebacker came to answer questions and meet the student-athletes.
“Have fun [playing in high school] because it doesn’t get much better than playing with your buddies,” Smith offered to the athletes.
Ballard coach Joey Thomas spawned the idea of the Classic and brought it to executive director of athletics for Seattle Public Schools Eric McCurdy.
“We’re the new Metro League and we’re back to what Seattle wanted. At the same time, we want people to know that we want you to really take notice of what we’re doing academically and athletically. So you come out and look at our student athletes. We want you to be involved in the community and help us move our athletics forward.”
The event is highly anticipated, even from those who have been in their share of big games.
“I’m more excited for this game than any other game,” longtime O’Dea coach Monte Kohler said.
The game schedule is as follows (all games are at Memorial Stadium):
5 pm — Seattle Prep-Kennedy
7:45 pm — O’Dea-Mariner
12 p.m. — Bainbridge-Cleveland
3 p.m. — Roosevelt-Ballard
6 p.m. — Garfield-Franklin
The slate of games should be fun, with old KingCo rivals Roosevelt and Ballard facing off for the Anchor Bowl, a game the Rough Riders have won five straight times. That’s followed by Garfield and Franklin, old rivals that have been reunited by the recent reclassification.