Forget the Tide & Tigers, we have our own rivalry game here

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No, there won’t be 90,000-plus fans packed in to Bulldog Stadium Friday night.

I seriously doubt ESPN will have three-dozen cameras at various locations in the stadium, and there more than likely will not be a mob scene on the field following a miraculous win.

But make no doubt about it; the Pike County Classic will have everything else that makes it a classic rivalry.

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Everything the Iron Bowl has, the Pike County Classic has as well, just on a much smaller scale.

Every November, there are families, friends and Co-workers that won’t speak to one another during the lead up to the Iron Bowl.

The same can be said for the Classic.

Just nine miles of four-lane highway separate the two programs. However, history says it is much more.

The Bulldogs have the titles, five to be exact.

Charles Henderson has just one, and it was over 30 years ago.

The Trojans stood on the precipice of a title last year only to come up short in the championship game, while the Bulldogs were stunned in a season-ending loss.

Sound familiar?

In the Iron Bowl, most of the players know one another by playing high school athletics against one another.

In our game, the Trojans and Bulldogs athletes have grown up competing against one another on the recreation fields across the state.

Whether you head to the stadium Friday night clad head-to-toe in orange and blue purple and silver, rejoice in the fact that you have the opportunity to take part in one of the best rivalries in high school athletics.

It’s just a scrimmage, but it means a lot more to a lot of folks.


Ryan McCollough is a sports writer for The Messenger. He covers recreation, high school and Troy University athletics, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the Alabama Sports Writers Association.