Are you ready for some football – high school football that is? Well get ready high school football fans, because the 2nd annual Dale Hansen Football Classic is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium.

Named for award winning WFAA sportscaster, Dale Hansen, the classic will feature a three game exhibition matchup between some of the best high school football teams from around the state of Texas.

To get things started, the Italy Gladiators will take on the Malakoff Tigers at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6. On Saturday, the first game begins at 4 p.m. and will highlight the Thrall Tigers against the Florence Buffaloes. The second game, with a kickoff time at 7:30 p.m., will showcase the Alvarado Indians as they take on the Mexia Blackcats.

The football classic is hosted by the Waxahachie Independent School District, in conjunction with the city of Waxahachie, the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce and the Waxahachie Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Director of Public Relations for WISD Dr. Nicole Mansell said this is a great event and one she looks forward to, because it showcases the city of Waxahachie and athletes from around the state.

“This event allows us to showcase our community through this amazing venue,” Mansell said referencing the 9,500 seat football facility, which also features excellent viewing capabilities from all locations, a championship-style artificial playing surface, and a spacious, three-level, 6,000 square feet press box.

“This beautiful facility attracts outsiders and draws them in to our city,” Mansell added.

She said when the teams come from the six different schools they bring with them fans who eat, shop and sleep in Waxahachie, and that means more revenue for businesses and the city of Waxahachie.

While the event is designed to showcase athleticism, Mansell said the classic will also promote academics, as one boy and one girl from the senior class in each of the high schools represented in the classic will be awarded a scholarship based on their academic standing, moral courage and leadership skills.

“Other than the fact that Dale is amazing, he loves children and believes in education,” Mansell said. “That is why we felt it necessary to award students with scholarships during this event. Twelve students from the participating schools will be awarded scholarships at a Champions Breakfast and honored during a pre-game ceremony during the classic.”

The breakfast has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. Mansell said that is the only difference in this year's event and the inaugural one last year.

“Some of the schools are located a distance away, and we didn't want the students to have to come back later to receive their scholarships,” she said. “That is why we chose to host the breakfast.”

As far as the name of the classic, Mansell said what better person to partner with and name the football event after than Hansen.

“He is reputable, believes in the sports as well as academics and is just a great guy,” she said. “Besides, he's from Waxahachie and understands the importance of drawing people to our city. How could we not name it after him?”

For those who may be wondering why the same teams are competing in this year's classic, it is because the teams had to sign a two-year commitment. Mansell said they are hoping to expand the classic next year to teams in Oklahoma.

“We think it would be awesome to have Texas and Oklahoma teams participate in next year's event,” she said. “I think that would make for great high school football and would draw even more people to Waxahachie.”

Pre-sale tickets will be available at each high school campus participating in the Classic (Italy, Malakoff, Florence, Thrall, Alvarado and Mexia) beginning Aug. 26-Sept. 5. Pre-sale tickets for Waxahachie, Ellis County residents, and Dallas/Fort Worth area residents may be purchased at the Waxahachie ISD Administration building located at 411 N. Gibson Street.

Ticket prices for Friday, Sept. 6 are $5 pre-dale and $8 on game day. Tickets for Saturday, Sept. 7 are $7 pre-sale and $10 on game day (includes admission to both Saturday games). Children 5 and under will be free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Title sponsors for the 2013 Dale Hansen Football Classic include WFAA, City Credit Union and the Waxahachie Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For more information on the Dale Hansen Football Classic, visit www.dalehansenfootballclassic.com or contact Nicole Mansell at 972-923-4631 or nmansell@wisd.org.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.