High school football fans eager for action can begin salivating after the 20th-anniversary lineup of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Crosstown Showdown was unveiled Thursday, featuring 21 games in “the nation’s largest high school football showcase.”
There will be six marquee games played at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium on August 25-26 — the opening weekend in Ohio. Five of the six matchups at Nippert pit area locals against each other with Elder-Lakota West kickstarting the party on Friday night, followed by a big bout between Colerain and La Salle in the nightcap.
Per event organizer Tom Gamble, Elder is the only program to have played in all 20 Crosstown Showdowns.
“It’s a great event,” said Elder head coach Doug Ramsey. “We love playing at Nippert and starting the season off with a quality opponent. Playing Lakota West with all of their defensive talent will be a great challenge for us and be a good gauge of how good we are.”
It will be the fourth straight season La Salle, three-time defending Division II state champions, and Colerain have met. It will also be the debut of La Salle’s new head coach, Pat McLaughlin.
“We are very excited to be part of the Showdown, a first-class event,” McLaughlin told Cincinnati.com. “Playing such a great team gives us an opportunity, early, to see where we stand.”
The following day, Nippert will see four games with Lakota East and Walnut Hills up first, followed by Milford and Oak Hills as Tom Grippa makes his return to high school football, then defending Division I state champion St. Xavier squares off with Hinsdale Central (Ill.), and finally Moeller meets Hamilton.
La Salle, Moeller and St. Xavier will be making their 19th appearances in the Showdown, while Colerain makes its 18th showing. Greater Catholic League South teams are a combined 60-13 all-time in the Showdown, according to Thursday’s press release.
The Showdown officially starts with a pair of Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana ball games as Cooper hosts Highlands and Lawrenceburg hosts East Central on August 18.
Ohio kicks things off August 23 with Deer Park hosting Hughes, and on August 24, Mount Healthy welcomes Taft, while Aiken travels to Western Hills.
That same week — August 25 — Badin hosts Ross, Fairfield hosts Centerville, Sycamore visits Loveland, Mason travels to Springboro, and new Princeton head coach Mike Daniels will travel with his Vikings to help the West Clermont Wolves make their highly anticipated debut.
The action continues into the second week of the season with CHCA visiting Indian Hill and Turpin, under new head coach Kent McCullough, travels to Northwest on September 1.
The final games of the Showdown this year are scheduled for September 8 as Beechwood — hot off a Class 1A state title last season — hosts Corbin, Anderson travels to Harrison and Kings hosts Covington Catholic in this year’s only Ohio-Northern Kentucky matchup.