Eagles renew rivalry with Rebels

Published 9:14 pm Thursday, October 21, 2010

To some the Goshen and Zion Chapel series is not much of a rivalry.

But to Eagle head coach Bart Snyder, the yearly matchup between the two schools is just as big as the rivalry game known as the ‘Iron Bowl’.

“It’s a big game,” the coach said Thursday night. “The way I look at it, its just like the Alabama and Auburn games.

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“You have to throw the records out when we play Zion Chapel. It’s a good, clean rivalry. They have had some tough, close games this year and if you look at the tapes, they were in a lot of their games but just fell short. There kids know our kids and our kids know their kids. Everyone of them want to win this game and I know (Zion Chapel head coach) Mike Waters will have his team ready to go (Friday night).”

Both teams enter the game going in opposite directions.

With last week’s win over Highland Home, the Eagles clinched the No. 2 spot in 2A Region 2, and improved to 7-1 on the season, and 4-1 in region play.

The Rebels are winless on the year, at 0-8.

This is Zion Chapel’s sixth losing season in seven years, after it made the playoffs in 2005 and finished with a 6-5 overall record.

After suffering back-to-back losses to the Rebels in 2004 and 2005, the Eagles have rolled off four-straight wins against their rivals from Jack, AL. During that winning streak, GHS has outscored ZCHS, 114-26.

But while the Eagles have been experiencing some good times recently both during the regular season and against the Rebels, Snyder said his team could not allow itself to get too over confident.

“You always have to be concerned with over looking a game when you play a team like Zion Chapel.

“They are having a down year, but that doesn’t mean we should let our guards down. They have a very good ball team with a lot of very good athletes. I fully expect to be in a dogfight (Friday night) with them.”

In preparation for that dogfight, Snyder said his team has had a good week of practice.

“The guys have been working hard all week long,” he said. “They have been getting after it.

“Anytime you win, it’s a lot of fun to be out on the field. Winning makes you want to put forth a better effort and that’s what I have seen from our guys all season long. We are still working on the fundamentals, but we are getting better everyday and learning more everyday.

“We are very fortunate to be in the position that we are in right now, and I think the guys know that and want to continue to work at playing at the highest level they can.”