Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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In the state of Ohio, high school football is king. Every Friday night, bleachers in small towns and stadiums in big cities are filled with fans, many if not most of whom have no children playing on the team.
High school football fans are passionate. Many of them go to the games because, for them, it’s a tangible way to help support their local school system. Many fans purchase season tickets, willing to brave the heat, the rain, the cold, the snow, and in some cases, the treacherous walk past the little kids playing football beside the bleachers. I myself popped popcorn at Fredericktown home games for several years just for the free ticket into the games.
This Friday, one of the great rivalries in high school football returns to the field. Through a flurry of divisional changes and conference realignments, the Fredericktown Freddies and the Clear Fork Colts will meet on the gridiron for the first time since 2006.
It is safe to say that the Colts are in search of revenge since suffering a home defeat the last time the two teams met. To rub salt into the wound, the head coach of the Freddies at that time was a graduate of and former player for Clear Fork. (Think Bo Schembechler leaving Ohio State and going to Michigan to help put things into perspective.)
Both teams look very different now than they did the last time they battled it out on the football field. Clear Fork has dropped a division and they have lost some talent and some depth on their football team. Fredericktown has experienced a coaching change since the last meeting and is trying to become the playoff caliber team they once were. Both teams have something to prove going into this game.
Every time these teams meet, much like an Ohio State-Michigan game, the game is always tough. The hits are always hard, the blocks are always fierce, and the competition is always intense.
Given Clear Fork’s recent successes in higher divisional play, I can’t help but be a little nervous about Friday night’s game. Fredericktown had a bit of a down season last year and their schedule looks to be one of the more difficult ones that I can remember in recent years. Both teams, now more than ever, need to start the season off headed in the right direction in order to have a shot at a successful season.
Since both teams have so much riding on this first game, I expect this game to be one for the ages. I most definitely plan on being in attendance, so feel free to slide up to the fence and have a chat, I won’t be shy.
And of course…GO FREDDIES!