The Statesboro Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomes you to the City that Soars!

10th Annual Erk Russell Classic Football Event Presented by The Heritage Group

The August 21st event kicks off the 2021 high school football season with the Macon County Bulldogs taking on the Panthers from Clinch County at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Wayne County Yellow Jackets and the Blue Devils from Statesboro High butting heads at 9:00 p.m. Both contests will take place at Georgia Southern’s legendary Allen E. Paulson Stadium. From Montezuma, Georgia, the Bulldogs from Macon County High school compete in Region 5-A and are coached by Dexter Copeland. Serving as the school’s Athletic Director, Copeland is a native of Warner Robins (Northside HS) and is a graduate of Georgia Southern University. He has coached for over 15 years with stints at Twiggs County, Baldwin County, Hawkinsville and Monticello. Representing Region 2-A, Clinch County High School is in Homerville, Georgia. A former Panther football standout himself, Don Tison returned to his alma mater as the head coach in 2019. He is the son of former head football coach Donald Tison. The Panthers’ football stadium is named after the late Donald Tison, who was Clinch County’s head football coach from 1974-1994. The younger Tison was the Offensive Coordinator for Clinch County overseeing the most prolific offense in Panther history in 2010 and served in the same role for four of the school’s eight state title teams (2010, 2015, 2017, 2018). From Jesup, Georgia, the Region 1-5A Yellow Jackets of Wayne County High School are coached by Ken Cribb. Entering his 5th season at the helm, Cribb previously turned the Bluffton High School (SC) Bobcats into a Palmetto State power going 63-26 in seven seasons including numerous semi-finals appearances and a state runner up in 2011. The Yellow Jackets from Wayne County are stepping up to Class 6-A to take on Statesboro High School in the night cap. The Blue Devils are coached Jeff Kaiser, who took over the reigns from Steve Pennington in 2018. Previously at Tattnall County High School, Kaiser was a football and baseball star at Statesboro High and played defensive line for the University of Georgia Bulldogs .  
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