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Central Catholic eyes national TV exposure

If all goes as planned, Central Catholic's football opener against Archbishop Wood will be televised nationally on ESPN2, Gateway athletic director Terry Smith said.

The 2 p.m. game will be part of a Sunday doubleheader Sept. 4 at Gateway High School in Monroeville. The other game — Gateway vs. Harrisburg's Bishop McDevitt at 6 p.m. — will be shown online at espn3.com .

The four schools are in the process of signing and returning contracts to ESPN. Only then, once ESPN confirms the details, will the plans be official.

"Nothing is concrete," Smith said. "Essentially, we're waiting to do paperwork. Until the contracts are signed, anything could happen."

This will be the first year for the Gateway Kickoff Classic. The four teams involved regularly produce Division I college talents.

This year, Bishop McDevitt features defensive end Noah Spence, considered a top five talent by most national recruiting websites. The 6-foot-4 senior had more than 30 scholarship offers, but recently cut his finalists to Penn State, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame and USC.

Philadelphia's Archbishop Wood has five players committed to FBS schools, including Colin Thompson, a 6-5 tight end headed to Florida.

"ESPN wants games where they can talk about (recruits with) national names," Smith said.

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