The start of the high-school football season is still months off, but one local game of note now on the schedule is a private-game clash between the Potomac School Panthers of McLean and the Bishop O’Connell Knights of Arlington.
The non-league contest is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21 in McLean, the fourth game of the season for O’Connell.
The schools are located about three miles apart, but have never competed in varsity football action. School coaches and administrators have explored playing in the past, but nothing ever developed.
Other teams from the two schools have met in other sports, but never football.
Current O’Connell head coach Todd Sabatino reached out a few weeks ago to Potomac School coach C.J. Remmo about playing in 2024, and the contest was arranged.
“I want to play local teams like that and we hope to work something out that we continue playing them in future years,” Sabatino said.
“It makes sense because O’Connell is right there so close.”
Both teams struggled with injuries last season, O’Connell finishing 3-7 and Potomac School 1-8.
The game between the local private schools will be the second such first-time contest in as many seasons.
Last fall, O’Connell and Flint Hill of Oakton met for the first time. That was an impromptu meeting scheduled on an early week-day night when both teams had opponents back out of games that were scheduled for the previous weekend.
Flint Hill and O’Connell will not meet in football this coming season.