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La Salle football team to host reigning national champion IMG Academy Sept. 3

Posted at 2:10 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 14:50:34-04

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The La Salle High School football team is scheduled to host reigning national champion IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) Sept. 3 at Lancer Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

A signed contract was made official on Wednesday afternoon, according to the La Salle athletic department.

"We think it's awesome," La Salle coach Pat McLaughlin told WCPO. "Our schedule is very challenging this year and we want to play the best."

IMG Academy (8-0 in 2020) was declared the 2020 national champion by MaxPreps and USA Today.

IMG Academy has several top college prospects in the 2022 to 2024 classes, according to 247 Sports analyst Steve Wilftong and the 247 Sports staff.

The Lancers (8-3 in 2020) were a Division II state semifinalist last season and return several key players from this past season.

The Week 3 game against IMG Academy is the third consecutive home game to start the seasonfor the Lancers. La Salle opens against visiting Colerain Aug. 20 followed by Winton Woods on Aug. 27.

La Salle plays at Louisville Trinity Sept. 10 and returns home to play duPont Manual Sept. 17 before closing out the month in a road game against Moeller Sept. 24.

"It feels good to finally finish the schedule," McLaughlin said. "To have IMG come here will be a great experience. We play Colerain Week 1 and that's our focus right now."

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La Salle returns several talented players in all three phases of the game, including four-star recruit Gi'Bran Payne, who is rated the nation's No. 11 running back and Ohio's No. 7 player overall in the 2022 class by 247 Sports.

La Salle also announced this week that it has added two former Lancers - Garrett Celek and Ben Martin - to its coaching staff.

Celek is a former NFL tight end who played at Michigan State. Martin was a high school All-American who played defensive end at the University of Tennessee.