• 61°

Trojans and Bulldogs square off in annual rivalry game

The annual cross county rivalry between Charles Henderson and Pike County will be renewed on Friday night when the Bulldogs travel to Troy University’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.

This will be the first time the two teams have met since the 2019 season when the Trojans knocked off the Bulldogs 12-6. The game was not played last season due to Pike County only playing regional opponents.

This year’s rivalry will have a different look compared to year’s past. The Trojans welcome in new head coach Quinn Hambrite and the Bulldogs field a young, inexperienced roster full of players new to the rivalry.

Despite the changes, both schools are ready to provide excitement for the latest chapter to the rivalry.

“It’s an exciting time,” head coach Fred Holland said. “I know coach Hambrite is excited and us in Brundidge are excited. It’s been a long three weeks to get ready for this. Our guys are tired of hitting each other. The guys are getting ready for their first game.

“It’s an exciting time and we are excited.”

“The kids have been showing me some stuff on social media of all the talking going on back and forth,” Hambrite said. “That’s when I realized it’s finally football season. I’m excited for this rivalry.”

The Bulldogs bring back very little experience this season and even though they are new to the rivalry, Holland knows they are excited for the rivalry’s latest chapter.

“They have heard a lot about it,” Holland said. “It will be different for a lot of them when the lights come on. For Some of them,w this is their first contest all together. We have a very young team and we are excited to learn more about them as we go along. I know there will be some ups and downs in the game, but hopefully the guys will fight through it. We have been preparing for it. I feel like it’s going to be an exciting time, especially our players.”

Hambrite expects a lot of energy in Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday night. The key for Hambrite is keeping his players from getting too excited.

“There is going to be a lot of energy,” Hambrite said. “We can’t be too high, but we also can’t be too low. We have to have a steady and even keel.”

Although the game will be an exhibition, both coaches will treat it like a regular game. Both coaches are hoping to see improvement heading into their season openers.

“I expect to see a lot of competitive things on the field,” Holland said. “The guys have worked hard and they are ready to see what they are capable of doing. The coaches are eager to see what the younger guys are doing and the older guys. We are ready to see them in a game and show them some things on film.”

“I want to see us progressing and taking steps in the right direction,” Hambrite said. “So we can have some success and be mentally ready to play a tough team next week in Montgomery Catholic.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.