Gearing up for the Sept. 1, Georgia Pop Warner Classic are, from left Markaybion Wallace, M. Taylor of Albany, Nikko Cruz of Leesburg, D. Taylor of Albany and Thomas Barry. Wallace and Barry play for the South Georgia Hawgs.

 The South Georgia Hawgs’ Junior Midget team will play the feature 3:30 p.m. game in the first Georgia Pop Warner Classic, which will be held Sept. 1, at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium.

The Classic will include five games between teams from the South Georgia Pop Warner League and teams from East Georgia League.

Play will begin at 9 a.m. with a Tiny Mite game. At 10:30 a.m., there will be a Mitey Mite game; at noon, a Junior Pee Wee game; and at 1:30 p.m. at Pee Wee game.

The South Georgia Pop Warner League has teams in Albany and Lee County that will play in the earlier games that day.

The South Georgia Hawgs Junior Midget team will make its debut that day from a team against the East Georgia League, which includes teams from the Augusta area.

The South Georgia Hawgs Junior Midget team includes Robert Aikens, Marcus J. Anderson, Quandarius Blackwell, Thomas Barry, Dajun Edwards, Javen Jackson, Ty’Quarius Leggett, Leamon Madison, Cedric Martin, Robert “Trey” McCoy, Javen Merritt, Jah Montgomery, Aaron Pearson, Gavin Phillips, Tory Ponder, Billy Rushing, Tyran Shealy, Lavarious Snelling, Will Snipes, Keenan Tillman, T.J. Williams, Chase Willis and Jaquan Willis.

The jamboree-style event is the first to feature teams from both of Georgia’s Pop Warner leagues.

Some 300 youngsters are expected to take part, said George Wallace, who started the South Georgia Hawgs last spring.

The Classic will actually begin with a catered “meet and greet” from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, at the stadium.

Wallace said he hopes to make the event an annual one.

The East Georgia and Southwest Georgia are the only two Pop Warner leagues in the state.

The East program has some 11 teams in the Augusta area.

Daniel Cruz of Leesburg, who helped start the Southwest Georgia league last year and is the league president, said his goal is to have a team from the league qualify to go to Disney World and play for the national Pop Warner Football championship.

He also would like to see some of the league’s players recognized for academics.

Wallace said he is looking for players ages 5 through 7 who are under 75 pounds and who are interested in playing tackle football in the South Georgia Hawgs Tiny Mite division.

Anyone interested in the South Georgia Hawgs or Pop Warner Football can contact Wallace at 589-9796.

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