I’ve had an internal battle during all my years of doing this on whether to include High School venues. In the end, a number of factors made me go against this route as the lack of reliable information on the venue, along with the general bare-bones nature (even if there are 10,000 bleacher seats) were the swaying factors. I did however want to include facilities that host consistent events and that includes high school championships. This allows me to keep city-owned stadiums and arenas that are more professional in nature on The List. There are more than 50 of them, where their only consistent sporting event held is a high school championship.
That brings me to this coming Friday, where I will be making my first official visit to a High School event as Historic Hersheypark Stadium in Pennsylvania is the traditional home for the State Football Championship. This event has actually been on my radar for years, but it’s place in the calendar (December) comes during a busy and often cold season. Things have come together nicely this year, but the ridiculously warm weather this season is taking a two-day hiatus right around this time, so the winter gear will come back out of the closet. PIAA splits schools into classifications based on enrollment, so I have four games to choose from. I initially was leaning towards the AAAA (largest school classification) game Saturday Night, but my wife works to the early afternoon and I will be watching my daughter and didn’t want to cut it too close. Instead, I’ll be taking a half-day from work and heading to the middle of Pennsylvania for the Friday Evening AAA title game. Plus, it will be a few degrees warmer and a little less windy. The matchup features two teams at complete opposite ends of the state. Cathedral Prep from Erie will be looking for their third state title when they take on Imhotep Charter, who will try to become the first Philly Public League school to win states. Imhotep is absolutely loaded as they put up 72 points in their semifinal win and they are filled with DI commits. That includes TE Naseir Upshur who is heading to Florida State. Hershey is a great place for a title game and I will be filled with Hot Chocolate, enjoying the game!