FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Denmark football will face a new opponent to open its season after organizers with the Corky Kell Classic updated the schedule of games. Amid the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty of the season, the shift in Denmark’s opponent comes with a string of scheduling alterations to the annual event that kicks off the state’s high school football season.

The Danes were originally scheduled to face Tucker in their debut Corky Kell appearance and inaugural game as a member of Class 7A. Following the July 27 announcement, Denmark will now take on Greater Atlanta Christian Sept. 3 at Dacula High School. It will be the first meeting between the teams.

The game will feature a new-look Danes team now under the direction of head coach Mike Palmeiri, a three-time state championship winning coach for Mallard Creek High School (N.C.) and a two-time North Carolina Associated Press Coach of the Year recipient.

Palmeiri takes over for Denmark’s first head coach, Terry Crowder, who took the same position at King’s Ridge.

The Danes are coming off their first winning season and playoff appearance, finishing their 2019 campaign with a 7-3 overall record in the talent-rich Region 7-AAAA that included Blessed Trinity which has captured the state title in each of the last three years.

Denmark will now compete in Region 5-AAAAAAA along with all Forsyth County Class 7A schools and Gainesville.

The Danes will take on a seasoned GAC program to kick off their season. The Spartans have won six straight region championships and earned a playoff berth the last eight seasons, including two trips to the state finals in both Class AA and Class AAA.

Despite several changes to the Corky Kell Classic schedule, West Forsyth is still set to host two games, including their own matchup against Mays, as originally planned.

West will play host to the first two games of the 2020 season on Sept. 3. Cherokee and Carver-Atlanta will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with the Wolverines taking on Mays later that night.

The Wolverines will also be under new direction this year with Dave Svehla replacing Shawn Cahill as head coach. Svehla comes to West after leading Etowah from 2012-19, racking up a 49-41 record.

West will look to use its Corky Kell matchup to bounce back from the program’s 2019 campaign, the first losing season (4-6) in program history.

Their opponent, Mays, won 60 games from 2014-19 with a playoff appearance in each year competing in Class 5A and 6A. The Raiders were placed in Class 4A with the 2020-21 classification updates.

Scheduling for the Corky Kell Classic followed suit with the GHSA’s decision to push back the start of the football season two weeks. The two games at West were originally scheduled for Aug. 19. 

Games initially scheduled to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will now be contested at Mill Creek High School. Two games that were to take place Sept. 4 at Rome’s Barron Stadium were cancelled and replaced by a Walton vs. Kell matchup at Walton.

Alabama’s Hoover High School was slated to be the first out-of-state team to compete in the kickoff event by taking on Lowndes, but scheduling conflicts and the GHSA’s ban on facing non-Georgia teams forced a change. Lowndes will now take on Archer Sept. 5.

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