In sports, there’s nothing like beating your biggest rival.
When I think of sports rivalries the rivalries between schools and sports franchises those involving Ohio State-Michigan, Steelers-Browns, Bears-Packers and Yankees-Red Sox immediately come to mind.
What about in this area? Which rivalries are the top prep battles in the area?
The Findlay-Fostoria and Findlay-Lima Senior battles used to be the Trojans big games but they don’t play Fostoria in many sports since the Redmen parted ways with Great Lakes League and the Lima Senior football series hasn’t been competitive in recent years. I’m not sure the Trojans have a primary rival right now.
In the Blanchard Valley Conference, the biggest rivalries in football tend to be the non-conference openers. They are usually backyard brawls with neighborhood pride on the line.
Cory-Rawson vs. Bluffton
Pandora-Gilboa vs. Columbus Grove
Riverdale vs. Arlington
Leipsic vs. Patrick Henry
Hardin Northern vs. Ada
Other than the annual battle between Arcadia and Vanlue, I’m not sure there are any games between the other BVC schools than loom a little larger than any other. Of course, since Hardin Northern has been a dominant team in the conference everyone wants to knock them off.
Here is my list of top 10 rivalry games involving at least one school from
The Courier coverage area…
1. Arcadia vs. Vanlue -- Biggest game on the schedule for these two schools and their communities. Everything is left on the field in this one.
2. Carey vs. Mohawk -- Fans from adjoining school districts who genuinely hate one another. Many families split on both sides of this rivalry. The 50-50 drawing is always a biggie.
3. Cory-Rawson vs. Bluffton -- An excellent small school neighborhood rivalry. Since it’s in Week I it’s sometimes a barometer of how the winning team’s season is going to go.
4. Riverdale vs. Arlington -- Not much love lost between these schools dating back to before consolidation for Riverdale. Arlington has dominated the rivalry recently though.
5. Bluffton vs. Columbus Grove -- These schools have probably played between 70-80 times and in recent years league championships and playoff appearances have almost always been on the line.
6. Patrick Henry vs. Liberty Center -- There’s always a lot of pride and plenty of computer points on the line in this Battle of Henry County.
7. Pandora-Gilboa vs. Columbus Grove -- Route 12 Rivalry. A Pandora-Gilboa win over the Bulldogs produces plenty of computer points and usually means they will be a factor in the BVC race.
8, Hardin Northern vs. Ada -- Hardin Northern has dominated the series recently between the neighboring Hardin County schools.
9, Carey vs. Upper Sandusky -- Longstanding rivalry that was renewed a few years ago. It’s a much bigger game for Carey than it is for Upper but it’s probably one of the biggest gates of the year for both schools.
10, Elmwood vs. Eastwood -- The Suburban Lakes League’s “Battle of the Woods” has been a great game the past few seasons.
Which rivalries do you like most? Have any memories of playing your rivals in school?