Champions Challenge To Have An Auburn Flavor

Auburn commitments Dee Liner and Jason Smith will be in action next weekend at Cramton Bowl.

Montgomery, Ala.—Football in the State of Alabama kicks off next weekend with the Champions Challenge that will be held at Cramton Bowl featuring six high school teams from across the state. Auburn fans will want to pay special attention as defensive line commitment Dee Liner and Muscle Shoals as well as McGill-Toolen and quarterback Jason Smith are two of the teams on display in the preview weekend of high school football.

Playing Friday night, Aug. 24, Muscle Shoals will face off against Spanish Fort featuring Alabama commitment Deon Johnson and Nebraska commitment Jonathan Cook. Two of the top 5A teams in the state, the game should be a great way to kick off the season. Liner said he's excited to get the season started in such a great way.

"It's really fun," Liner tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "We have been practicing hard every day getting ready for next Friday to come."

Muscle Shoals coach Scott Basden agrees with his star player that it's a great opportunity for his program to get the season started off right.

"I think it's great coming out of the summer being that this is the first big event," Basden said. "It's an honor to be a part of it. It's a catch 22 because you are playing a great program in the southern part of the state. We want to represent Muscle Shoals and the AHSAA and they have entrusted in us that they feel like we can do that. We want to represent them well and our team also."

Following the first game of the day on Saturday that features new school Central of Clay County (formerly Clay County and Lineville) vs. Beauregard at 5 p.m., McGill-Toolen will face off against Northridge out of Tuscaloosa featuring 2014 standout running back Bo Scarborough at 8 p.m. With a team hoping to build on a strong 2011 season, Coach Bart Sessions said his Yellow Jackets are ready to get things kicked off.

"We thought it was important as a program," Sessions said. "We hit the road at the end of last season and didn't fare very well. We thought as one of our building blocks why not go play one of the powerhouses right out of the gate in a big atmosphere. To us you know you're going to have to do that at least once in the playoffs and maybe two or three times in somebody else's facility. We think that one of the next steps for us is learning how to go on the road and win a tough game."

Friday night's game between Muscle Shoals and Spanish Fort will kick off at 7 p.m. as part of the Champions Challenge.

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