Chambers and Cardinal Gibbons will kick off the season in South Carolina

Cardinal Gibbons' Carter Scearce (2) slips while trying to defend Camren Kennedy (22) from Julius Chambers in the first half.  The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders and the Julius Chambers Cougars meet in the NCHSAA 4A Football Championship game in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 11, 2021.

Cardinal Gibbons’ Carter Scearce (2) slips while trying to defend Camren Kennedy (22) from Julius Chambers in the first half. The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders and the Julius Chambers Cougars meet in the NCHSAA 4A Football Championship game in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 11, 2021.

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The highly anticipated season-opening football game between Raleigh’s Cardinal Gibbons and Chambers High School will not be played in North Carolina.

The two teams, who met in the NC 4A State Championship game last season, will square off on Saturday, August 20 at Rock Hill’s District 3 Stadium. The state championship rematch will be part of the Turf King Football City Invitational. It was originally to be played at Chambers.

The doubleheader at Rock Hill will feature four of the Carolinas top programs.

Chambers and Cardinal Gibbons have won North Carolina’s last three state championships in the state’s top class. The other two teams – Gaffney of South Carolina and South Pointe – are real powerhouses in their state.

Gaffney won the 5A state championship last season and South Pointe won the 4A title.

New Chambers coach Brandon Wiggins said moving the game to South Carolina was an easy decision. Playing in District 3, which seats nearly 9,000, will allow more fans to see the game, and pairing it with the South Pointe-Gaffney game, the doubleheader should attract media attention, regionally. and national.

“It’s a chance to introduce our guys,” Wiggins said. “It will be a big game and will draw a big crowd. We are always close to home and our parents will always support us, and everything will be fine.

This will be the third meeting between Chambers and Cardinal Gibbons in the past two seasons. Chambers beat Gibbons 35-29 last August in a game that didn’t end until well after midnight. It was postponed due to storms and lightning. Gibbons avenged that loss, upsetting Chambers 14-2 in the NC 4A Championship Game, played in a downpour at NC State.

Although this is his first game as Chambers’ new coach, Wiggins is well aware of the history between the two teams.

“It’s a redemption game,” Wiggins said. “It’s a great way to start the season. It sets the tone for us, and the fact that we’re up against a team that we played in the state championship and failed, well, that adds icing on the cake. Can’t wait to see the guys compete and fly. But it’s also the first game of the season, so hopefully we’ll have a spark and really get started.

Gibbons coach Steven Wright said he was a bit worried the weather could play a big part in this game for the third time in a row, due to the 4:30 kickoff.

“Yeah, maybe it’s Round 3 again with Chambers where we’re dealing with the weather,” he said, “but a different type of weather with a bit of heat.”

Despite that threat, Wright said playing with a team like Chambers would do nothing but help Cardinal Gibbons as he tries to repeat himself as state champion.

“Any time you meet a top team in a non-conference situation, it only does your program good. It reveals to you, right away, where you are and the things you need to work on. I think it benefits both teams.

Turf King Football City Invitation

When: Saturday, August 20 at Rock Hill’s District 3 Stadium

Kick off times:

Team Highlights:

This story was originally published May 19, 2022 10:30 a.m.

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sportswriter who has worked at The Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from the Final Fours and the NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz — a graduate of West Charlotte High and UNC — is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte” when you ask, “What city are you from.”
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