Citizens of the state of Ohio are passionate about football, no matter what level.
From the pee wee leagues and varsity high school football on Friday nights to college football on Saturday afternoons and the professional games in both Cleveland and Cincinnati on Sundays, stadiums are packed with fans cheering for their favorite teams and players.
As part of their commitment to increasing the excitement of football on Friday nights and growing a love for the game in the northeast Ohio community, the Cleveland Browns have launched the 2012 High School Game of the Week program, presented by PNC Bank in association with Russell Athletic and The Ohio Army National Guard.
Now in its third season, the Game of the Week program was launched in 2010 and fans have cast more than two million votes since that time.
“It goes without saying that communities in northeast Ohio are very passionate about their high school football,” said Matt Yunker, manager of youth football for the Browns. “For the Cleveland Browns to show our support through the High School Game of the Week program is something we are certainly excited about as the 2012 season approaches.”
“We are looking forward to an awesome football season with some outstanding players this year,” said Paul Clark, PNC Bank regional president for Cleveland. “At every level, football provides exciting family fun and PNC is excited to sponsor these games for our community.”
Each week, panelists from WTAM and ClevelandBrowns.com will nominate a game for the High School Game of the Week poll. Fans will vote for their choice at ClevelandBrowns.com and the winning game will be receive a written recap and video highlights package on ClevelandBrowns.com, as well as a special mention on the “Cleveland Browns High School Football Show, presented by PNC Bank” each Saturday.
Every winning team in the Game of the Week program will receive $4,000 for their high school football program. The winning coach and game most valuable player will be honored on the field during a Browns home game. At the conclusion of the season, the Browns will announce the High School Coach of the Year, who will earn an additional $8,000 for his program.
The “Cleveland Browns High School Football Show, presented by PNC Bank” -- a one-hour program that airs on Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET on WTAM AM/1100 -- starts on Aug. 25, with a live remote from Cleveland Browns Stadium as part of the annual High School Charity Game festivities and runs for the 15 weeks throughout the high school football season. Brecksville-Broadview Heights and North Royalton will kick off the season at 2 p.m. at Cleveland Browns Stadium, followed by the nightcap between Cleveland St. Ignatius and Youngstown Cardinal Mooney at 7 p.m. Aug. 25.
The show will feature interviews and analysis from the week that was in high school football, as well as WTAM’s Power 11 rankings.
“It’s nice to watch the pro game on Sunday, but in northeast Ohio, there’s a lot of pride on Friday nights as well,” said Andre Knott, co-host of the “Cleveland Browns High School Football Show.” “Fridays are still king and that’s the wonderful thing we end up getting out of this. Not only is there this huge outpouring for Cleveland Browns football, but there’s a huge outpouring for a ton of schools in northeast Ohio and it’s awesome to be a part of it with the Cleveland Browns and WTAM. It just brings together a perfect family for what people are about here in northeast Ohio.”
Tickets for the annual High School Charity Games are $10 in advance and $12 on game day. Proceeds will benefit each of the four participating schools, as well as the Cleveland Browns Foundation. Tickets are available through the respective schools as well as the Cleveland Browns Ticket Office. One ticket is good for both games and concessions will be available. Any questions regarding the game or tickets can be directed to Home Team Marketing at (216) 566-8326.
The Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week program is presented by PNC Bank, in association with Russell Athletic and The Ohio Army National Guard.