NORTH FULTON/FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia High School Association has released the full 2021 football schedule for all member schools, including local teams in North Fulton and Forsyth counties.
While local teams had to call an audible on their schedules amid the pandemic, the 2021 season will mark the return of programs hosting or traveling to play out-of-state opponents, while others will compete in marquee events in the area.
To kick off the season, West Forsyth will play host to Corky Kell Classic contests for the second straight year.
West will host the first GHSA game of the season Aug. 18, a matchup of Cherokee vs. Mays. Following that afternoon game, the Wolverines will hit their home turf to take on Carver Atlanta.
The 2020 season marked the first time since 2015 a North Fulton program did not compete in the season kickoff event, but the area will be represented again this year. Johns Creek will make its Corky Kell debut Aug. 20 when the Gladiators face Gainesville at Dacula High School.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Creek’s new tradition under head coach Matt Helmerich of playing an out-of-state opponent was put on hold, but the practice resumes for the upcoming season.
After making their Corky Kell debut, the Gladiators will take a road trip to play Traveler’s Rest in South Carolina Aug. 27.
Milton is set to host the Freedom Bowl for its fourth rendition this year on Labor Day weekend. The full schedule of the two-day event — which pits strong programs from around the East Coast against one another and celebrates veterans — is still being finalized. But, games have been set for local teams.
Host Milton will take on Life Christian Academy, a private school program from Chester, Virginia, on Sept. 2. The next day, Alpharetta marks its return to the Freedom Bowl and will take on Greenville Christian from Greenville, Mississippi. Greenville is the defending Mississippi Association of Independent Schools 3A state champion.
Another highlight of the Raiders’ 2021 schedule is their Aug. 27 road matchup with Alabama juggernaut Hoover. Alpharetta head coach Jason Kervin spent 12 years with Hoover, including five seasons as the program’s offensive coordinator, before taking over the Raiders’ program.
Milton is also set to resume its fairly recent trend of playing out-of-state opponents and will travel to Philadelphia to take on St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. St. Joseph’s captured its third straight state title in 2020 and was ranked in the top-10 nationally by MaxPreps.
Milton will be the second Georgia team to face the program in the last three years. Marietta hosted St. Joseph’s in 2019.
Under the direction of new head coach Tom Hall, Blessed Trinity will also take on an out-of-state opponent. The Titans face Charlotte Catholic of Charlotte, North Carolina. The tilt will feature two teams that have won six state championships in their respective classifications over the past four years.
Region schedules for local teams have remained unchanged for 2021, the second year in the current cycle of reclassification and region realignments.
However, one new will is joining the fray with the East Forsyth hitting the field for its inaugural season.
The Broncos will play a 10-game, non-region schedule in its first season beginning Aug. 20 against Ridgeland. East Forsyth is also slated to play two North Fulton Schools. The team will host Mount Pisgah Oct. 1 and travel to Milton to play King’s Ridge Nov. 5 to close out the regular season.