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Thu, Oct 23, 2014

Sports rivalries fuel good games

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What’s your favorite rivalry?

It seems good rivals come and go, depending on the sport and a number of other things.

About the only rival MTSU football has left is Western Kentucky, but hopefully, new ones are forming for our Blue Raiders.

High school football teams have many rivalries.

The old Central High School Tiger rivals were Tullahoma, Clarksville and Lebanon. We seldom play those folks anymore.

Central High had few rivalries in basketball in the county because Central refused to play them, preferring to play Sparta, Manchester and Lebanon.

On the elementary level, most rivalries are gone.

No more Lascassas versus Walter Hill, Eagleville versus Rockvale, Christiana versus Buchanan, Bradley versus Crichlow and Kittrell versus, well, anybody.

Sometimes the old feelings come back in the Rutherford County summer recreation league softball and baseball games.

Central Middle versus Smyrna Middle football games were so big for a while that the teams sometimes played twice a year.

Because Central football is no more, the rivalry is gone, but we have new rivalries to talk about.

Rivals often form because of the location of the schools.

Blackman Middle versus Stewarts Creek is a natural and just wait until Stewarts Creek High opens in 2013 and three new rivalries will form – Stewarts Creek versus La Vergne, Smyrna and Blackman. La Vergne Middle, Rock Springs and the Smyrna Panthers are natural rivals, as are Whitworth-Buchanan and Christiana, as well as Siegel and Oakland.

On the high school level, Eagleville has a long standings rivalry with Forrest, Unionville and Cascade.

The Oakland-Riverdale rivalry, Smyrna-La Vergne, Riverdale-Blackman, Smyrna-Blackman and Siegel-Oakland all formed for many reasons.

Smyrna and Blackman got very intense when Coach Philip Shadowens left Smyrna, went to MTCS and then showed up at Blackman. The passing years have dimmed this rivalry a bit.

The Siegel-Oakland rivalry was based on boy’s basketball but there were other reasons.

When Oakland Principal Kenny Nolan and many faculty members left Oakland for Siegel this fueled the flames, and then, if you remember, there was the case of those hard to locate band instruments.

This rivalry too has dimmed with time and seems to be mainly territorial today, and with Siegel football having “arrived” it looks interesting.

Three of the four rivalry games were played Friday so you might check out our scoreboard.

Why is La Vergne-Riverdale not a rivalry?

In my opinion, in order to have a rivalry each team has to win every once in a while. Going into Friday’s game La Vergne was 0-15 versus the Warriors.

What’s the best rivalry?

If I had to decide, I guess it’s Riverdale versus Oakland, and it’s in every sport.

The Rutherford County Board of Education would not let the two schools play regular season games in football (two years) and basketball (one year) when the schools opened in 1972.

They wanted to avoid possible trouble.

The two schools were members of different conferences.

Riverdale did beat Oakland in girl’s basketball that year in a Christmas Tournament, and the Riverdale boys beat Oakland in the District Tournament that year. Both games were trouble free.

You will find these types of games all over the state.

Let me assure you the fine folks at Dobyns Bennett in Kingsport do not like the wonderful people in Johnson City – Science Hill. Clinton and Oakridge: Get out of the way. Coffee County and Tullahoma – look out – that Coffee Pot game can get hot.

There are many others.

Enjoy your fall break and get ready for a lot of good games on the way.

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Tags: 
Basketball, Blackman, Eagleville, Football, La Vergne, Oakland, Riverdale, Rutherford County, Siegel, Smyrna, Sports
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