High school football is back on the field for a new season, and the Great American Rivalry Series is ready for the games to begin! Entering its seventh season, the Rivalry Series will feature its largest tour ever in 2010, growing from eight games in the 2004 inaugural season to 66 games in 28 states this year, each one showcasing high school football at its finest.
Included in those 66 games are 35 rivalries never featured in the Series before, including:
Good Counsel vs. DeMatha (Olney MD): Two of the D.C. area’s top teams traditionally square off in the state championship, adding fuel to this rivalry’s fire. Last year, the Good Counsel Falcons lost 21-24 to DeMatha in the regular season game but came back for sweet revenge by clinching the state title 14-7. The Falcons and Stags will meet Friday, October 8, for another intense battle on the gridiron.
Southside vs. Northside (Fort Smith AR): Rated last year the number one football rivalry in the state of Arkansas, the Fort Smith Southside-Fort Smith Northside “Battle of Rogers Avenue” traces its roots back to 1966. The two teams have won a combined 15 state titles and are both a showcase of outstanding sportsmanship. In ’09 the Southside Rebels came out ahead over the Grizzlies 26-22.
Lake Travis vs. Westlake (Austin TX): Two Texas powerhouses who go head-to-head at University of Texas DKR Memorial Stadium. The Westlake Chaps start their season against three-time defending Class 4A state champion, Westlake. Currently, the series record between the two stands tied 2-2, with Westlake being the last team to have beaten their fiercest foe.
Proctor vs. Rome Free Academy (Utica NY): The oldest rivalry in the state of New York dating back to 1891, the Proctor-RFA contest was not originally on this year’s schedule until both schools and communities rallied behind the importance of the game. After much persistence, the game was placed back on the schedule for Friday, September 10, and is certain to draw a lot of attention. Since 2001, Proctor holds a 5-3 edge in the series.
Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket (Oak Bluffs MA): The annual “Island Cup” rivalry drew national headlines last year when the game was canceled as a result of the economic downturn. Luckily this year the Island Cup will be revived and the Vineyarders and Whalers will meet for the 63rd time on Saturday, November 20, for a 1pm game at McCarthy Field.
In addition to these new additions to the Series, we will also be returning to some old favorites known by football fans nationwide, including:
St. X vs. Trinity “Battle for the Shillelagh” (Louisville, KY)
Massillon vs. McKinley (Massillon, OH)
Easton vs. Phillipsburg (Easton, PA)
Valdosta vs. Lowndes “Winnersville Classic” (Valdosta, GA)
Jackson vs. Northwestern “Soul Bowl” (Miami, FL)
For the first time in the Series’ history, select rivalries will be designated the Great American Rivalry Series “Game of the Week.” This will involve a LIVE video webcast of the game, allowing high school enthusiasts across the nation and service men and women around the world the chance to witness high school football at its best.
The Great American Rivalry Series emerged from a desire to celebrate the cultural phenomenon of Friday night high school football, shining the spotlight on classic gridiron clashes where expectations are sky high and die-hard fans abound. Since 2004, the Series has spotlighted 161 games and 116 unique rivalries in 34 states. New states we’ll be visiting this fall are Maine, Utah, Vermont, and Arkansas, bringing the total by the end of the season to 38 states since the Series began.
As part of the Series, the winning team earns bragging rights and the coveted Great American Rivalry Series Champion trophy. The game’s Most Valuable Player is also named by media in attendance, and the Series awards the top student-athlete from each school a college scholarship. Select games also honor one alumni player from each team with their induction into the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame. Students and fans actively participate in the rivalries as well through various challenges and competitions.
Be sure to check out our website often for game recaps, photos, and exciting video highlights! Let the 2010 Rivalries begin!