The Central Section high school football season will kick off Aug. 24 with some national-television exposure.
Buchanan plays Narbonne-Harbor City in a game that will be shown on ESPNU. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. from Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis.
It is the first time Buchanan will be shown on an ESPN network, and it will be against a Narbonne team that went 10-4 last season.
“We’re very thankful for the opportunity,” Buchanan coach Matt Giordano said. “That is a great school and a great team they have down there. For us to play a quality team like that in game one, we’re very excited.”
Giordano said he was approached by ESPN and admitted he had to think about it, but ultimately he was thinking about his players.
“If I was in high school and found out my coach said no to being on ESPN, it would get me kind of mad,” said the former Buchanan star. “This opportunity our kids have to be on ESPN to play together and play a quality opponent like that, I think it was a no-brainer.”
ESPN is showing a slew of games from Aug. 23-25 featuring some of the top teams in the nation.
Narbonne has many players with Division I offers, including wide receiver transfer Traeshon Holden who verbally committed to Alabama.
The Gauchos are led by 2021 quarterback Jake Garcia who on Tuesday narrowed his top 10 to Arizona State, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, San Jose State, Tennessee and USC.
On Monday, Buchanan five-star running back Kendall Milton committed to Georgia. Buchanan also welcomes back junior quarterback D.J. Stevenson.
It’s the second straight season Buchanan has hosted a high-profile, out-of-section opponent. Last year, De La Salle-Concord beat the Bears 31-24. Milton had 145 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in the game.
“I approach every opponent the same.” Milton said. “I’m going to play them the same way I play other teams and give everything I got. We’re going to go out and give it all we got and hopefully we’ll come out with the win.”