News Release: AR Blue Cross and Blue
Jennifer Lee
Monday, August 14, 2017

CAMDEN - Football. Food banks. Fearless fans.

Eight teams were selected to participate in the 2017 Arkansas Blue Cross 
and Blue Shield Kickoff Classic, presented by, including Pep 
Rallies with a Purpose in the teams’ hometowns.
Teams selected to participate in this competitive, championship-caliber 
high school football showcase for 2017 are Camden Harmony Grove, Conway 
Christian, Danville, Hamburg, Hampton, Prescott, Pea Ridge and Smackover.
“This is arguably the best lineup of teams in the event’s 18-year history,”
 said Chad Hooten of Hootens Arkansas Football. “The eight participating 
teams combined for 84 wins last year. All eight advanced in the playoffs, 
and three made it to the state championship game. Not only will all eight 
teams get to start this season in grand style at college stadiums, 
Arkansas Blue Cross will enable the players, cheerleaders and band members
to help their communities while having a lot of fun before the games.”
“The heartbeat of our company is serving Arkansans,” said Curtis Barnett,
 president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue 
Shield. “This is the second year for Arkansas Blue Cross to sponsor the 
Kickoff Classic and we couldn’t be happier to be supporting the teams and
 the towns where they live with Pep Rallies with a Purpose events. Because
 our state is ranked 2nd in the nation in the number of people facing food
 insecurity, we are reaching out in advance of the games and making a 
deeper investment in the Arkansas communities where these students, 
coaches, teachers and administrators, parents and other folks live, learn,
 work and play.
“We will travel to the teams’ hometowns and work side-by-side with the 
football teams, cheer teams and band members to pack meals for their 
local food banks.  Following our community service together, we will 
hold community pep rallies in their towns to celebrate the students’ hard
work and support their participation in the Kickoff Classic.”
“We appreciate Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield affirming youth 
across the state and being involved in a positive activity like high 
school football,” said Hooten.
Following the Pep Rallies with a Purpose, the teams will meet on the 
gridiron in late August. The 2017 Kickoff Classic schedule is as follows:
Monday, August 28 at UCA
Pea Ridge vs. Hamburg (5:30 p.m.)
Danville vs. Conway Christian (7:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, August 29 at SAU
Camden Harmony Grove vs. Smackover (5:30 p.m.)
Hampton vs. Prescott (7:30 p.m.)
Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an independent 
licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest 
health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have 
more than 2,700 employees. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association 
is comprised of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated 
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provide healthcare 
coverage for nearly 106 million members — one in three Americans.