High-SchoolFootball: ESPNU

ESPN HS Football Kickoff schedule

August, 20, 2012
Christian HackenbergTom Hauck/ESPNHS Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Va.) quarterback Christian Hackenberg is one of 11 recruits in the ESPN 150 who will be playing in the ESPN High School Football Kickoff on Aug. 24-26.

A showdown between two top teams in Illinois will kick off the high school football season in style as the third annual ESPN High School Football Kickoff gets underway in August.

In all, 26 teams from 15 states and five teams in the ESPN 25 Power Rankings will play on ESPN’s family of networks from Aug. 24-26, beginning with Joliet Catholic Academy (Joliet, Ill.) playing at Providence Catholic (New Lenox, Ill.) at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. That game features one of the nation’s top recruits, rising senior Ty Isaac of Joliet Catholic. The USC commit is rated the nation’s No. 68 player in the ESPN 150.

Other Friday games include Minnetonka (Minn.) at Arrowhead (Hartland, Wis.) at 8 p.m. on ESPN3. Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) will play at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) at 9 p.m. on ESPN2, and Mullen (Denver) will play at Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) at 10 p.m. on ESPN3.

Friday is the first of three days of coverage that also includes 17 teams appearing on ESPN for the first time as well as 11 athletes who are currently ranked in the ESPN 150. That list is headlined by Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Va.) QB Christian Hackenberg, the nation’s No. 1 quarterback and No. 16 recruit in the ESPN 150. His team will play Hermitage (Henrico, Va.) at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va. on Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.

The slate of games includes 12 defending state champions, including two games which have dueling state champions – Good Counsel against Bishop Gorman as well as Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) taking on Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

The Huddle: Overcoming a tough loss

September, 5, 2011
The huddle is a sacred place in football; one where the team and game are the only things that count. We’re going inside the huddle by talking to football players on the POWERADE FAB 50 teams to find out their most valuable lessons learned -- on or off the field -- that contribute to their success.

In this inaugural addition of the series we talk to Shaquille Powell of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) about dealing with a tough loss as a team leader and about the person in his life that motivates him the most. Powell is a versatile talent that contributes on both sides of the ball at halfback and safety and is ranked as the 45th running back talent in the country by ESPNU. He is a 3.2 student who is considering Duke, Vanderbilt, Illinois, San Diego State, Fresno State, UNLV, Utah, Texas and Florida State.

How do you cope with a loss?

Down, 20-3, heading into the fourth quarter of a recent game opposite Armwood (Seffner, Fla.), Powell's Bishop Gorman mounted a furious comeback.

"We fought our way back, gave everything we had," said Powell. "We got within 20-17 and were driving at their 30-yard line."

But with 10 seconds to play, the game-tying field goal try went awry, forcing Bishop Gorman to absorb its first loss on its home field in three years.

"That was the most painful experience ever. Probably 90 percent of my teammates were crying," said Powell. "We gave everything we had, an we still did not get the outcome that we wanted. It was the most painful thing and the worst feeling ever."

After the game, Powell and other team captains huddled the players for a speech.

"We said, 'You know, we've got to flush this, because there's nothing that you can do,'" said Powell. "You've got to have a short-term memory and just say it's the past. It's not reality anymore, and you have to look to the future and focus on the next game."

Powell said that shedding the overwhelming feeling of being "a loser" can be among the most difficult things, "but, really, that's similar to what you have to do in life situations," he said.

"As a leader, you've got to come back and tell your teammates, 'I'm not going to fail you guys again,'" said Powell. "You've got to continue to have faith in yourself, and you also have to demonstrate with your actions that you have faith in your team."

ROLE MODEL: His mother, Scarlett Forwood "That definitely has to be my mom. Single mother, domestic violence, living in a homeless shelter when I was a kid, getting out of debt. She's overcome so many obstacles. When I look at her, I'm like, 'Wow, she's a really strong woman.' When I go through tough situations, I ask myself, 'what would she do?' She's made it her goal to make my life better. That's where I get my heart and will to complete difficult tasks."