Thompson vs. IMG Academy cancelled due to Hurricane Idalia

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – Thompson High School and IMG Academy announced that their scheduled football game for Thursday, Aug. 31 will be cancelled due to Hurricane Idalia.

Thompson made the announcement on their social media channels on Tuesday, Aug. 29, just over 48 hours before kickoff.

IMG Academy’s campus in Bradenton, Florida is within Idalia’s path, and the storm is scheduled to make landfall in the area as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday, Aug. 30, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“After weighing all options, IMG Academy & Thompson officials have made the joint decision to cancel the game,” Thompson said in a statement. “The game cancellation is in the interest of the safety of IMG players, employees, and their families. Travel in and out of the Tampa area will be limited in the coming days.”

Thompson also said that due to the lack of openings in both schools’ football schedules this season, a rescheduled game is “unlikely.” The school will issue refunds for single-game tickets purchased through GoFan in the coming days.

The game was expected to be the highlight of the season in Shelby County, as the IMG Ascenders are the #4 team in the nation according to MaxPreps and the Thompson Warriors are currently the #29 ranked team after their season-opening win over Opelika at the AHSAA Kickoff Classic in Montgomery on Friday, Aug. 25.

Thompson officials were expecting the game to be a sellout at Warrior Stadium and draw fans from around the Birmingham area to see the 2020 MaxPreps national champions.

Thompson will have another chance in the national spotlight as they will take on Clay-Chalkville on Thursday, Sept. 28 in an ESPN2 showcase. The Warriors beat Clay-Chalkville last season en route to their fourth straight Class 7A state championship.

IMG has four players in 247 Sports’ top 100 recruits list for the class of 2024, including #4 ranked prospect Ellis Robinson IV, who will play cornerback at Georgia next season, as well as defensive lineman and Oklahoma commit David Stone, uncommitted offensive lineman Jordan Seaton and future Texas running back Jerrick Gibson.

Coach Mark Freeman’s Warriors will take a bye week this week and resume their season on Friday, Sept. 8 to face Vestavia Hills for their new home opener. The game against the Rebels will also kick off Thompson’s region schedule, and the game will serve as a great test for the Warriors as Vestavia Hills is one of the top teams in 7A.