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Cobb County teams on national television becoming a common occurrence

Tonight’s home opener in Raider Valley already had all the hype it needed.

Now, it’s going to have a little more, and football fans around the county might be compelled to set their DVRs to ESPN2 for 7 p.m. before heading out to their respective game to start the weekend.

That’s because the network will be in town to broadcast Walton’s clash with defending Class AAAAAAA state champion North Gwinnett — a rematch of last year’s season opener in the Corky Kell Classic, which Walton won 31-28 at Georgia State Stadium.

The Bulldogs (2-1) have only lost once since then, a 28-14 defeat to Wakiva (Fla.) two weeks ago. For Walton (3-0), it’s an opportunity to make another statement as it follows other Cobb County schools reeling in national attention and television cameras.

“This game already had everything,” Walton athletic director Chris Williams said. “It’s the first home game for us with a huge opponent. Everyone is going to want to be there — bthe fans, the students. Just adding national television to the mix makes it a special experience for everyone.”

The idea for the game came back in the winter, when teams were preparing schedules and Walton was considered for a showcase in Hoover, Alabama — an area already known nationally thanks to the history of its flagship school, Hoover High School, as well as current Colquitt County coach Rush Propst. ESPN has historically made visits to the area and connected with Walton.

After word got out that Walton and North Gwinnett agreed on another game after the Bulldogs’ original scheduling plans fell through, ESPN sent a message to Williams.

“Well, I got to work one day and had someone from ESPN ask if we wanted to host them for that game. That’s kind of a no-brainer,” Williams said.

It won’t be the first time Walton

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