Ball Report October 19th, 2011
As I traveled around the country this year with the Great American Rivalry Series, which airs on ihigh.com, it caused me to think about some of the biggest high school football rivalries in Kentucky. Here are five of the instate rivalries that are some of the biggest and the best.
· St. Xavier vs. Trinity--Two catholic school powerhouses with over 30,000 fans who show up at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. I have personally covered this game the last few years and have seen the intensity and passion for this annual rivalry up close. It combines an annual reunion of graduates families and supporters with great football. It is certainly one of the best in the state and America as well.
· Covington Catholic vs. Highlands--All eyes are always on this huge game annually in Northern Kentucky. I covered many of these games in the late 80’s and 90’s. It is simply a blood bath between two football giants. Lately Highlands has dominated the series. This is one of my favorite on a personal level when I reflect on the good old days.
· Male vs. Manual--The oldest rivalry this side of the Mississippi River. After broadcasting this game last year, I realized how important this rivalry game is to the alumni of both schools. It is so huge that this year they are expecting over 10,000 spectators and are moving it to Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. In the old days it used to be held on Thanksgiving Day every year in Louisville.
· Bowling Green vs. Warren Central--These cross-town rivals loathe each other when it comes to Friday night football. Bowling Green has been the dominate team lately, but in this rivalry game you can literally throw out the previous records. The game is played at L.T. Smith Houchens Stadium to accommodate the large crowd.
· Boyle County vs. Danville--This backyard brawl brings out the “title town” faithful every season. Larry French and Sam Harp have both been successful as head coaches for these two cross-town rivals. This is a must see game for any high school football fan.
There many other rivalries around the state such as: Fulton County vs. Fulton City, Pikeville vs. Belfry, North Laurel vs. South Laurel, Mayfield vs. Paducah Tilghman, Somerset vs. Pulaski County, and in Lexington there are many cross town rivalries. Rivalries are good for the game of football and for local communities. It’s part of what makes high school sports unique.
Don’t forget to watch the Scholastic Ball Report on Saturdays at 11:30 am on WKYT Chanel 27.
By: Gary Ball