CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The unofficial start to the high school football season has kicked off.
The Hendricks Sertoma Football Classic drew teams from all across the Lowcountry for the largest pre-season football bash in the area.
The annual football event brings in not only money for local charities, but also local schools.
"Last year we gave out $90,000 to the area's high schools and children's charities and we're hoping to do more than that this year," Sertoma Classic Co-Chair Callie Vanderbilt said. "Over the 47 years it's been millions of dollars given back to the community."
For the players who get to run out on the field, it raises a level of enthusiasm.
"I think it's important for the players for a lot of kid's high school football is their career. They don't go on to play college level, so to be able to play at a college facility at the Citadel is a really big deal with the lights and their name on the jumbotron," Vanderbilt said.
"I think they're stoked about it. It raises a level of enthusiasm to be out in this type of atmosphere right here," North Charleston Cougars supporter Kenneth Graham said.
The fans that came out Thursday night said Sertoma provides a feeling of community with all of the competing schools.
"It's really cool seeing all the schools cheering on and watching all the games and seeing people from other schools," First Baptist student Manoli Stavrinakis said.
For this years Sertoma Classic there is also an increase in security with City of Charleston Police and security officers working to make sure everyone is kept safe.
"Security is our priority and we've really upped it this year," Vanderbilt said.
Every person who goes into the stadium will have their bags subject to search and will go through metal detectors.
Umbrellas are also not allowed inside the stadium.