For 70 years, the Macon Touchdown Club has honored local high school football players and coaches at its Monday night dinner meetings.
Come August, the club will move beyond dinners and guest speakers when it hosts a high school football doubleheader at Mercer's Five Star Stadium.
The Macon Touchdown Club Middle Georgia Football Classic, scheduled for Aug. 27, will feature two games between Macon public and private schools. Mount de Sales will take on Central at 5 p.m., followed by the third meeting between FPD and Howard.
The event was announced Monday at the Touchdown Club's jamboree at The Methodist Home.
"We're trying to get the Macon schools involved, private vs. public," said Johnny Crawford, who led the Touchdown Club committee that organized the games. "FPD and Howard, they were going to play again this year at Mercer. Last year's game gave us some inside information, and it's helping us schedule games that normally wouldn't happen."
Mount de Sales and Central, the two high schools closest to downtown Macon, will meet for the first time on the football field.
It will be the first game ever for Central against a Macon private school, while Mount de Sales takes part in its first game against a Bibb County School District team since 1965, when it lost 20-0 to Mark Smith at Henderson Stadium.
The FPD-Howard series quickly has become one of the top games in Macon. FPD won the first meeting 26-25 in overtime in 2014 at a packed George S. Johnson Stadium, while Howard won last year's meeting 38-17 at Five Star Stadium.
For the Touchdown Club, the Middle Georgia Football Classic will serve as a fundraiser for the scholarships it awards at its jamboree.
"We've met with Mercer several times, and we're getting sponsors," said Crawford, who said the club has worked on getting this together since last spring. "We want to make it a bowl-type atmosphere, where players, coaches, spectators and officials say they had a good time, were treated well and want to be part of it again."
The Middle Georgia Football Classic will take place on the second week of the GHSA football calendar and will be the second high school football event of the season at Five Star Stadium. The Corky Kell Classic, scheduled for Aug. 18, will pit Mary Persons against Houston County and Jones County against Lee County.
Houston County's Jake Fromm was honored by the Touchdown Club on Monday as its Elmo A. Richardson Player of the Year.
Joining Fromm on the Super Seven were Warner Robins' Marquez Callaway, Jackson's Michail Carter, Dooly County's Antonneous Clayton, Upson-Lee's David Marshall, Vidalia's Nate McBride and Lee County's Aubrey Solomon.
Carter and Marshall signed with Georgia, while Callaway signed with Tennessee and Clayton signed with Florida. Fromm, who has committed to Alabama, is a junior, along with the uncommitted McBride and Solomon.
Colquitt County's Rush Propst was named the state coach of the year.
Derrick Evans, whose buzzer-beating shot lifted Central's basketball team to a second-round victory in the GHSA Class AAA Tournament on Saturday, was recognized for his football efforts Monday with the Ortho Georgia Back of the Year award.
The Central quarterback led the Chargers to a 6-4 season, the team's best record in a decade. He has signed with Carson-Newman.
Jones County defensive lineman Torrez Finney, who recently became a two-time GHSA individual wrestling champion, was named the Ortho Georgia/Bill Turner Lineman of the Year. Georgetown-bound Khristian Tate was named the U Park Em U Sell Em Special Teams Player of the Year.
Also, Covenant's Chris Oxford was named the Marvin Davis Coach of the Year.
Mount de Sales' Brandon Crowder, Tattnall Square's Jacob Dooley, Howard's Martin Flowers and FPD's Will McCormick were recipients of the Bobby Sanders Memorial Scholarship.