Archive | September, 2011

Let’s Do This Again Soon

6 Sep


It’s the first week of high school football in Arkansas. Which means the talk at the coffee shop or local barber ramps up for 10 weeks in the fall. The usual who’s got the best defense, who’s got the best offense will echo throughout the state. But, come November one week will matter, Rivalry Week.

The Hatfields and McCoys, Texas vs Arkansas, Dallas vs the Redskins, USA vs Russia, snake vs the mongoose, are all rivalries that have shaped the history of the world for years. Obviously in the River Valley of western Arkansas the big rivalry has always been considered Fort Smith Northside vs Fort Smith Southside. But over the last 16 years there has been a changing of the guard so to speak.

Alma vs. Greenwood has risen up from obscurity to taking center stage, depending on who you talk to, and I just don’t mean the residents of the town. When Kris Weible made that touchdown on a pass from Brooks Coatney. Followed by the kick from James Grady, Greenwood started its rise to be a game that people would circle on thier calender as a must see.

Each one of the crazed Bulldog fans can remember something special or unique in the “November Classic”. Being part of  something like that rivalry was neat. Like the time in ’98 that behind the fieldhouse in green paint was a big “Greenwood Sucks”. Greenwood Vet clinic had “Airedale Neuter Specials”. I remember pulling into Alma and some kids showed us thier version of Indycar driver Will Power’s “Angry Birds”. During the wonderful Peacock Farewell tour of ’00, I got to do a Lambeau Leap into the student section, after a Anthony Hancock to Josh Bell touchdown. Ahh memories…….

See this is what made this rivalry great, It had everything! Clutch plays, overtime wins, penalties that were never called even though the next morning in the paper it clearly showed Jon Martinsky was being held on an overtime touchdown in ’98, and even a tribute to legendary Head Coach Frank Vines, when he retired. Enough of a run on sentence for ya?

As I write this the Bulldogs just beat, Sallisaw 49-21. Looks like this group of Bulldogs have re-fueled and are ready to make one final run through the 5A-West. 9 weeks from now, this ’11 season edition of the Bulldogs will step on to the field one last time ,for a little bit I hope, as conference rivals to Alma. If everything goes as predicted it will be another exciting chapter in the book.

I’m glad that the rivalry doesn’t have to end that Coach Jones and Coach Dilbeck know what this game represents. Not so much the High School vs High School aspect. As what it means to the community. I know what it meant to a little 3 yr old last year. He can’t wait to be a Bulldogs and play those bad guys in green as he put it that cold November night. It’s things like that, that make it special. That make it not another game. Who knows, in 11 years maybe that little boy who “verbally commited” to Greenwood may help write another chapter in the Alma-Greenwood book. I sure hope so because that would be neat.

As Bulldog fans, we may move on and forget who we beat in a playoff game or some before conference game. But, we always remember two things, who we beat in all of our 5 State Championships in the last 10 years. Ok ok, that was a bit smug, but it is the truth. But we also know who holds the upper hand in the Alma-Greenwood rivalry.