Fans celebrate unofficial start of football at Sertoma Classic

VIDEO: 2016 Sertoma Classic - Night 1 - Part 1

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The 46th annual Sertoma Classic kicked off Thursday night at Johnson Hagood Stadium, marking the unofficial beginning of high school football season.

Thursday is the first night of the annual two-night event in which 27 teams will take part.

The visitors section is closed to fans, but there were still plenty of seats in the home side of the stands Thursday night.

There is a lot of spirit with team colors, balloons and decorations all around.

Kailey Wright is a student at James Island Charter High she enjoys coming out each year.

"I just love how everyone gets together and has such a good time... it's awesome to watch sports with everybody," Wright said.

Sertoma Classic Co-Chair Callie Vanderbilt says it takes a lot of work to get ready for the event.

"We always start planning the Classic literally the day after the one the year before happens," Vanderbilt said. "So we have to plan the matchups, we have to get the schools on board, the cheerleaders on board, bands to come in so it's really a big undertaking."

Vanderbilt said Oceanside Collegiate and Charleston Charter Math and Sciences will play their inaugural football games at the Classic this year.

Teams also get points in a side competition on how many Snapchats they send, points on Instagram and Facebook.

Tickets are sold at the gate for $12 and parking is $5.

Security is up this year with metal detectors so the less you bring the quicker you will be able to get through.

"We have been doing bag checks for everyone who comes in the front gate and also wanding folks," Vanderbilt said. "We just want to make sure that everyone is safe and that this is a safe place for kids and their families to enjoy football."

All bags are subject to search. No backpacks, umbrellas, coolers, alcohol or guns are allowed inside the stadium.

In the 46 years the event has been going, it has raised $5 million dollars to give back to local charities. Last year, the event raised $91,000.

Night 1 

Hanahan 7   James Island 0  F/2

Cane Bay 13  Stratford 7  F/2 - The Cobras Kris Copeland was named the Roddy White MVP of the night racking up over 70 yards of total offense as the Cobras pulled off the upset.

Wando 2   Porter-Gaud 0 - The Cyclones missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired as the Warriors escaped with the win.

Baptist Hill 0   Burke 0 - The Bulldogs defense held Baptist Hill out of the end zone with a goal line stand late in the quarter to preserve the tie.

First Baptist 20   Palmetto Christian 0 - Michel Dukes rushed for 2 touchdowns and Ahmad Green added one through the air to give the Hurricanes the victory.

Garrett 24   Military Magnet 8 - Ja'Juan Brown had an interception returned for a touchdown, one of 3 turnovers the Falcons forced on the evening. Freshman Tyler Gibbs had an 80 yard TD run for Military Magnet.

Coastal Christian 7   St. John's Christian 6 - Wyatt Baldwin scored the tying touchdown and Ashton Wood's 2 point conversion reception gave the Cougars the victory. Mikey Smith had the lone score for St. John's Christian.

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