After six years of opening the football season with Biloxi in the annual Shrimp Bowl, Gulfport splits from the event to form a new kickoff tradition, the Port City Bowl.
The new double-header features Harrison Central taking on Jefferson Davis County, and Gulfport hosting George County to close out the event. Biloxi remains in the Shrimp Bowl, now a single-game event.
"Biloxi wanted to alter the format to make where it was one game and we like the double-header idea, so we just agreed to split off," Gulfport athletic director Bryan Caldwell said.
Despite the change, Caldwell expects the Gulfport community to embrace the new tradition.
"I think this is going to be exciting. I think the people in Gulfport with the two high schools will really embrace this. I think it's gonna be a great opportunity to showcase high school football the first week of the season and to showcase the city of Gulfport."