Defending Class 6A state football champion Oakland will play one of its most aggressive schedules in years, highlighted by a game on ESPN 2.
The Patriots will travel to Jackson, Miss., to face Madison Ridgeland Academy on Aug. 28 for the live televised game at 2:30 p.m.
“They’ve won the (Mississippi) state championship two of the last three years, and they’ve been one of the top programs in Mississippi the last five years,” Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. “They have a long home winning streak we hope we can beat.
“They’re very talented. They’re well coached and it will definitely be a challenge. There are a lot of challenges. We’ll have to bus six-and-a-half hours, and on Aug. 28 at 2:30 p.m. it’s really going to be hot. But it’s a great opportunity to play a great opponent on ESPN 2.”
Oakland opens the season on Aug. 20 at Hendersonville.
“Hendersonville never has shied away from competition,” Creasy said. “We’ve got a good little rivalry with those guys. They’ve got toughness, discipline and it’s always a good first game.”
After playing at Stewarts Creek on Sept. 3, Oakland will play another out-of-state opponent the following week when it hosts Beacon Hill (Virginia) Academy.
The Patriots were scheduled to play an opponent at home from Boca Raton, Florida, but the game was postponed until next year.
“We were at the point at the end of June where we were stuck with nine games, and everybody’s scheduled was filled,” Creasy said. “We were in desperation mode looking for opponents. We felt like our seniors deserved 10 games, and we especially wanted another home game.”
The Patriots also will play Division II foe CPA at home and travel to Class A opponent South Pittsburg.
“CPA, in their division, is exactly what you measure yourself by,” Creasy said. “They’ve done a hick of a job playing tough opponents. It’s right before their fall break and during our fall break. I don’t like that, but we didn’t have a choice.
“South Pittsburg was state-runner up in smallest classification, but playing at their place will be a neat experience. They’ve got some very good player and that really get after people.”