By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Midtown Detroit is home to some of the hottest restaurants, boutique stores – and this weekend – some of the best football players in the state.
Sixteen teams from Detroit Cass Tech to Lansing Sexton and Chicago Brother Rice are taking part in the The Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University.
The season-opening high school football is organized by the Detroit Sports Commission and features an estimated 40 players who have signed to play at Division 1 schools.
“You will have an opportunity to see some of the top high school football players in the state at one location,” said Dave Beachnau, DSC executive director.
But in addition to showcasing the top talent, the event gives players, bands and cheerleaders to play and perform at a college environment.
“A very, very small percentage of these high school student athletes will compete beyond their high school days,” he added. “We wanted to offer that special experience and create life lasting memories for these kids.”
The event was founded in 2005, and moved to Wayne State University in 2012. The home of Warriors not only is hosting the Kickoff Classic, but will also be the home for De La Salle High School football games and the Michigan-Ohio high school football all-star game in June 2015.
“With the growth and rebirth of that part of town it only accentuates everything that is good about the city of Detroit,” Beachnau added. “I think it will be a real eye-opener for everyone who hasn’t been here before.”
Tickets are $10 a day, and are available at the Wayne State and at participating schools. A portion of the proceeds from tickets will go back to the schools. The action kicks off 1 p.m. Thursday as West Bloomfield takes on Dearborn, and continues through Saturday with the 2 p.m. game between Birmingham Brother Rice and Chicago Brother Rice.
For a complete schedule, visit the Detroit Sports Commission website.