It’s that time of year again, where the intensity of football rivalries takes center stage. On August 31, 2023, the Thomas Dale Football Stadium will be set ablaze as the home team, Thomas Dale, squares off against their fierce rivals, L.C. Bird, in what is famously known as the “Battle of Chester.”

With a staggering 52 meetings in the all-time series, it’s clear that this rivalry is one for the ages. L.C. Bird has a slight edge, having dominated the series, but Thomas Dale is eager to turn the tide and claim their rightful spot at the top.

The crowd size is expected to hit a roaring 4,000 fans, as both teams’ loyal supporters come together to witness the spectacle that this rivalry always delivers. The passion and energy in the stands will undoubtedly match that on the field.

In their last encounter, the Thomas Dale varsity football team emerged victorious, sealing the game with a decisive 32-21 win. But the loss only fueled the fire burning within L.C. Bird, making this upcoming clash even more electrifying.

Rick Ford, the founder and CEO of the Great American Rivalry Series, shared his thoughts on this historic matchup, stating, “The Thomas Dale vs. L.C. Bird rivalry has been an integral part of our Series multiple times. The passion and tradition behind this battle exemplify the essence of high school football rivalries, and we expect nothing less than an unforgettable clash on the field.”

The players are ready to give it their all, and the coaches are strategizing tirelessly to outsmart their opponents. As the tension builds, the excitement is palpable, and both teams are fully aware of the significance this game holds.

The Great American Rivalry Series has witnessed its fair share of legendary moments, and this 20th season opener promises to add another unforgettable chapter to its storied history.

So, get ready to witness high school football at its finest, as Thomas Dale and LC Bird face off in a battle that transcends the sport itself.

We Know Friday Nights.


Ethan Minter
Thomas Dale


Ethan Minter

Thomas Dale

Ethan is a 4-year starter on the football team and 2-year member of the boys’ basketball team. He also participated in outdoor track during his junior year. Ethan has been a volunteer with the YMCA, the Dale Football Camp, and at local elementary schools to mentor and support students academically throughout his time at Thomas Dale. Ethan has maintained an impressive 4.7 weighted GPA and will attend the University of Virginia on scholarship for football next year.
Grady Speer

LC Bird

Grady is an outstanding model of a student athlete for L. C. Bird. He is a captain for both the football and track teams, playing center for the Skyhawks and earning all-region honors as a discus thrower. Grady maintains a 4.27 GPA is looking forward to continuing his football career at the next level.


The fall air was crisp and the crowd could sense the excitement on a perfect Virginia football night. Since 1980, the county’s largest rivalry has shook the quiet Chesterfield County hills for over four decades. Powerhouses, the Thomas Dale Knights and the LC Bird Skyhawks met on the gridiron for another edition of “The Battle of Chester”. The night was all defense in the first half with both teams struggling to move the ball. After gaining great field position following a defensive stop, Thomas Dale’s QB and UVA recruit Ethan Minter, kept the ball on a zone read for a nifty 23 yard touchdown, putting the Knights on the board first in what ended up being the only points of the half. Dale took the 7-0 lead into the locker room where both teams were looking to make some adjustments and come out firing on all cylinders offensively in the second half. The Knights got the ball first to start the second half and marched down the field with some excellent RPO production. Deep in Skyhawk territory and on a big 4th down, Dale converted on a tough run between the tackles into the red zone. Bird’s defense stiffened up but the Knights came away with a field goal to increase their lead to 10-0. The Skyhawks offense looked to answer back and had a great drive as well on their first possession of the second half. The clock burning drive featured a run heavy attack, resulting in the Skyhawks knocking on the door with a first and goal inside the Knights five yard line. Three plays later, however, it was Thomas Dale’s defense that came up big on 4th and goal, dropping the LC Bird running back for a loss and denying them the end zone. The fourth quarter saw both defenses dominating once again until late in the game. The Knights were able to muster up another touchdown on the ground after getting a short field increasing their lead to 17-0 and that’s how it would end in the 2023 edition “The Battle of Chester”. It was a great night of Rivalry football where both teams left it all on the field!