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July 12, 2013High school football in Michigan will begin and end at Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions. The inaugural Forgotten Harvest Football Classic will be held August 31 at the stadium, consisting of four games throughout the day.
Forgotten Harvest is the official sponsor of the event. Forgotten Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Metro Detroit - and the United States. Providing over 42 million meals per year, all proceeds from the non-profit organization will help provide a million or more meals for families in the Detroit area.
"I wanted to give back to the Metro Detroit community by combining my love for football and the spirit of helping neighbors in need", said event organizer Derek Denham. "I wanted to help out those that lacked enough good, healthy foods for themselves and their families, so I presented the idea to the Chief Development Director of Forgotten Harvest Russ Russell, and he loved the idea.
"We wanted to find good quality football programs that have had success on the gridiron, produced great players and more importantly were excited by helping with the movement against hunger and the goal of providing a million heathy meals to those really in need and around their communities."
The event kicks of at 10 a.m. in a battle of the Bulldogs. Detroit Loyola and East English Village Prep square off in the first game of the day. While the top-ranked player in the state and Michigan target Malik McDowell is reportedly pursuing a transfer out of Loyola, nothing has been official yet in his move. Loyola 2015 linebacker Darryl Clemons and East English Village Prep 2016 running back Nate Boleware are two other prospects to watch for in the future.
Port Huron and Detroit Martin Luther King will face off again each other at 1 p.m. The big three of King - linebacker Carl Fuller, cornerback Jalen Embry, and Pittsburgh commit Avonte Maddox - will be a tough matchup for the Big Reds. Junior linebacker Tyriq Thompson of King could be the program's best prospect since Michigan sophomore Dennis Norfleet, and is on Michigan's radar for the 2015 class.
Rockford is a consistent power on the west side of Michigan every year, and will play Utica Eisenhower in the 4 p.m. game. 2014 linebacker Brent Showers will lead the Rams at Ford Field, while Eisenhower has added a versatile player in 2015 quarterback Nate Emery through a transfer.
Clarkston and Rochester Adams will cap off the action with their game at 7 p.m. Clarkston has three players already committed to Division I schools in cornerback Tim Cason and defensive lineman Nick Matich (Western Michigan), and defensive tackle David Beedle (Michigan State). Beedle will line up across from his future teammate in college, Adams tight-end Matt Sokol, a fellow Spartan pledge. 2015 tight end Cole Chewins of Clarkston stands 6-7, 210 pounds, and is also another player to watch in this game.
"In addition to the games on the field, Ford Field will also be hosting an educational learning zone for students, fans and families with information on universities, volunteer opportunities, student and youth groups and more," says the Forgotten Harvest website.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at each one of the participating schools, Ford Field the day of the event or at ForgottenHarvest.org. General admission is $12 (Free for those 2 years and under).
"We to annually provide one or million meals to those in need through out metro-Detroit," said Denham. "So for every $12 dollar ticket sold, Forgotten Harvest can provide 60 quality meals, multiplied by 60,000 people buying tickets. I'll let you do the math."