Posted: 2:43 pm Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Park Vista to play season opener in Ohio, hoping to be on national TV 

By Jeff Greer

Park Vista will play its season opener in a college football stadium against an Ohio football powerhouse. The Cobras hope they’ll get to play on national television, too.

Park Vista DB Marques Gayot, who's verbally committed to Louisville, will be one of the Crosstown Showdown's top players to watch.

Park Vista and Cincinnati’s Colerain High are working out the final contractual details for their August 30 season kickoff at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The schools are also waiting to hear if ESPN plans to broadcast the 6 p.m. game, which is the first of a Friday night doubleheader that will also feature Cincinnati-Moeller and Indianapolis-Pike as part of the 2013 Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.

Park Vista’s game will definitely be broadcast on local Ohio television, a source familiar with the contract negotiations said. Paragon Marketing, the company that plans ESPN’s high school football programming schedule, is still deliberating whether it can carry the game as part of ESPN’s fall high school football coverage. Changes to the game’s venue and date — because of a scheduling conflict with the University of Cincinnati’s August 31 home opener — interfered with ESPN and Paragon’s broadcasting plans for the Crosstown Showdown, the source said. A spokesperson for ESPN said Wednesday the network hopes to have its high school football programming schedule finalized by the end of this week.

Park Vista coach Brian Dodds said his program’s covered most of the costs associated with the game, but still hopes to find a sponsorship to help cover the team’s airfare expenses.

The Crosstown Showdown, which began in 1998, is a Cincinnati-based high school football showcase that brings in teams from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and other states for the season’s opening weekend. This year’s event has 27 games that will be played at 11 different stadiums in the Cincinnati area between August 23-31.

Moeller and Colerain both finished the 2012 season in the MaxPreps high school football Top 25. Moeller won the Division I state title in Ohio, and beat Colerain in the regional final. Other showcase participants Clinton-Massie and Newport Central Catholic won Ohio state titles in 2012. Park Vista, a Class 8A program, finished 8-2, losing a heartbreaker to Seminole Ridge in the 8A regional quarterfinals.

This fall’s Park Vista squad has several Division I prospects, including safety Marques Gayot, quarterback Qwad Martin, running back Emmanuel Smith and multi-purpose defensive athlete Renard Cheren. Gayot (6-2, 185) verbally committed to Louisville this spring, but Miami, Kentucky and other BCS programs are actively pursuing him. FAU extended a verbal scholarship offer to Cheren this spring.

Colerain’s roster is equally as talented, with Class of 2014 receiver Travon Hudson and linebacker Tegray Scales serving as the resident BCS prospects. Hudson (6-3, 200) received verbal scholarship offers from Kent State, Purdue and Western Michigan. Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, West Virginia and Wisconsin, in addition to multiple other FBS programs, have all offered Scales (6-0, 205).

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