The Polytech Panthers football squad will help open the 2014 high school football season by participating in the fifth annual DFRC Blue/Gold Kickoff Classic next month.

Sponsored by the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with Intellectual disABILITIES and the Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches Association, the Kickoff Classic has opened the high school football season each of the last four seasons with a gridiron double-header.

This year, those games will take place on Thursday, Sept 4, when the Panthers host the Delcastle Cougars while the Caravel Buccaneers will head to Newark to take on the Hodgson Eagles.  

Polytech will open the season against Delcastle for the second straight year. The Panthers football program had a rebirth of sorts in 2013 when the team went 5-5. The turnaround started with a 30-6 victory over the Cougars, which broke a 10-game losing streak while helping the Panthers earn their first victory to open the season since 2010.

“I just recently spoke with Delcastle’s Head Coach Cordie Greenlea and we can’t wait,” Polytech Head Coach Kevin Smith said after the Kickoff Classic games were announced this week. “I think it’s a very important game and it’s for a good cause. It’s a great experience for the state of Delaware and we’re looking forward to practice starting.”

According to DFRC Director of Operations Renee Blessington, the event will recognize former DFRC Blue/Gold Participants from each school, either before the game or at halftime.

“The intention of this annual event is to increase awareness about DFRC’s mission to enrich the lives of Delawareans with intellectual disabilities,” Blessington said in a release.

The now annual Kickoff Classic is one of the organization’s many successful programs, which also includes the Blue/Gold All-Star Game, which pairs high school seniors with a child or young adult with intellectual disabilities.

The DFRC Blue/Gold Kickoff Classic at Polytech’s Jeff Adams Stadium will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets at the gate will be $5 for adults while Polytech will honor their student pricing.