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Who’s the top rival?


nolebull813
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For example, Manatee has rivals in Southeast, Palmetto, and Sarasota. And to an extent Venice. But who is their top rival of them all!? And why? 
 

Manatee has been playing Palmetto and Sarasota since the 20’s. Back when they were Bradenton High. They have played Sarasota more times throughout the years, but Palmetto and Bradenton merged to make Manatee County High. When they merged Palmetto stopped playing football for 10 years. 
 

Sarasota was a natural rival because there was no other big teams in the area during that time. Sarasota and Bradenton had to head to Tampa to find opponents. There was no Southeast, Bayshore, Booker, Venice, etc etc. They were the top 2 teams in the area for a while. Palmetto was like the little brother more on par with Arcadia, Wauchula, Punta Gorda etc. 

When Southeast came along, they started play Manatee and Palmetto almost annually. Some would say Southeast is both their main rivals. 
 

I was wondering if anyone from that area could shine a light on what’s the current outlook for rivalry games down there 

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Plant and Hillsborough was the County game of the year for decades. But when Callahan got to Armwood and Weiner got to Plant, that was THE game in Hillsborough for a better part of 15 years or so. The fact that those 2 teams were the best in Hillsborough every year for years made it the can’t miss game in the Tampa area. 
 

So I know Hillsborough is the ancient rival, and Robinson is the backyard right up the street South Tampa rival, but wouldn’t Armwood be considered the top rival at least during that time? 

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2 hours ago, nolebull813 said:

Some teams have one true rival like Hardee/Desoto. But some teams have multiple rivals. Some are based on history and some are based on proximity. I was curious to know if anyone close to any programs could explain the method behind their top rivals? 

Well here's the thing 

 

Who I see as the program's top rival doesn't exactly match what the school thinks 

 

They labeled Suwannee as a rival mostly due to proximity a while back but personally I feel like the past 20 or so years that rivalry has gotten soft a lot of it being because Suwannee just isn't a good program anymore 

 

Personally I feel school-wide that Gainesville is the better rival because in many cases those battles have been for district championships and playoff positioning while Suwannee I don't believe we have ever in program history faced in a postseason game 

 

I usually see a rivalry as something that makes or breaks your season but whether we beat Suwannee or lose in most if not all the sports it never feels like much but that's just my personal opinion and I'm sure the school has their own stance of why I'm wrong and Suwannee is a good rivalry lol

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1 hour ago, nolebull813 said:

Plant and Hillsborough was the County game of the year for decades. But when Callahan got to Armwood and Weiner got to Plant, that was THE game in Hillsborough for a better part of 15 years or so. The fact that those 2 teams were the best in Hillsborough every year for years made it the can’t miss game in the Tampa area. 
 

So I know Hillsborough is the ancient rival, and Robinson is the backyard right up the street South Tampa rival, but wouldn’t Armwood be considered the top rival at least during that time? 

Nolebull, you've hit the nail on the head for Plant.   Way back when, Plant and Hillsborough were rivals - in large part because of the relatively few number of high schools in the area and because of the success that the two teams had.  Some of the old-timers (older than me old-timers) may still think this is a rivalry game, but it's really not.  It's a "tradition game."

Then, Robinson was built down the road from Plant in response to the growth in south Tampa.  And that became a rivalry game, as Robinson had some good teams. 

I've often said that you can't have a rivalry game unless both teams manage to win a few games.  As a result, Plant/Robinson may still be a game of high interest to the folks in south Tampa, but it would be hard to describe it a true rivalry right now, because Plant has beaten Robinson a whole bunch of times in a row. 

In 2005, Plant went undefeated in its district (beginning a run of 58 straight district wins), but lost to Armwood in the playoffs.  No doubt the Plant/Armwood game became the biggest rivalry game in Hillsborough County over the next 15 years.  Typically, the two teams played each other early in the season and, when they were in the same classification, the two teams often met again in the playoffs.  Nothing stings worse than having your season end with a playoff loss to a rival.

If the two teams had played each other on a regular basis the past two decades, it's very possible that Plant/Jesuit would qualify, in part because of the number of kids that attend Jesuit, but who live in the Plant district.   But in the past few years, Jesuit's stock has risen and Plant's has dropped, so it may take a while before a game between those two teams would be competitive. 

So, looking at the big picture, in order for two teams to be rivals, there needs to be geographic proximity and games played on an annual basis, with each team winning its share of the games. It helps when both teams are good for long stretches and it helps when you have some top recruits/athletes playing in the games.  Last, it helps when the media hypes the game as a rivalry game . . . a somewhat overlooked factor with the slow slide into oblivion of the print media. 

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2 hours ago, nolebull813 said:

Plant and Hillsborough was the County game of the year for decades. But when Callahan got to Armwood and Weiner got to Plant, that was THE game in Hillsborough for a better part of 15 years or so. The fact that those 2 teams were the best in Hillsborough every year for years made it the can’t miss game in the Tampa area. 
 

So I know Hillsborough is the ancient rival, and Robinson is the backyard right up the street South Tampa rival, but wouldn’t Armwood be considered the top rival at least during that time? 

Personally I would because to me rivalry is all about competition and the competition between those two was for the top of a major county and sometimes determined who would go into the playoffs undefeated

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Aside from Desoto, Hardee has been playing Fort Meade since the 1920s with only a couple of interruptions, sometimes as kickoff classic games.  Sebring has been on the schedule since the 70s and Avon Park off and on since the 40s. As an alumni, I'd like to see Palmetto back on the schedule.

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44 minutes ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Well here's the thing 

 

Who I see as the program's top rival doesn't exactly match what the school thinks 

 

They labeled Suwannee as a rival mostly due to proximity a while back but personally I feel like the past 20 or so years that rivalry has gotten soft a lot of it being because Suwannee just isn't a good program anymore 

 

Personally I feel school-wide that Gainesville is the better rival because in many cases those battles have been for district championships and playoff positioning while Suwannee I don't believe we have ever in program history faced in a postseason game 

 

I usually see a rivalry as something that makes or breaks your season but whether we beat Suwannee or lose in most if not all the sports it never feels like much but that's just my personal opinion and I'm sure the school has their own stance of why I'm wrong and Suwannee is a good rivalry lol

No madison county 

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7 minutes ago, Perspective said:

Good God, please don't tell me that Jesse and Columbia Fan are going to spend the next three pages of this thread arguing about whether Columbia and Madison are rivals!   I don't know if I can take it.    :o

A good lawyer would already know the answer to that question.:D

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15 minutes ago, Perspective said:

Good God, please don't tell me that Jesse and Columbia Fan are going to spend the next three pages of this thread arguing about whether Columbia and Madison are rivals!   I don't know if I can take it.    :o

What I can't take is how many threads I have to explain that publics are recruiting worse than privates only to see a few hours later someone saying "separating publics and privates would fix the issues in Florida"

 

Idk if I can take it damngunit!

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2 minutes ago, KeemD321 said:

Rockledge main rival is Cocoa. But also have a rivalry with Merritt Island and Viera now since they opened and took a quarter of Rockledge enrollment when Viera first opened. 

Cocoa, Melbourne and Titusville all started playing football in the 20’s and were the only show in Brevard for the longest. So I’m sure those were all huge rivals for the better part of a few decades 

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24 minutes ago, nolebull813 said:

Cocoa, Melbourne and Titusville all started playing football in the 20’s and were the only show in Brevard for the longest. So I’m sure those were all huge rivals for the better part of a few decades 

I wouldn't know honestly. I'm sure Melbourne and Titusville were. 

Cocoa and Rockledge are main rivals because Rockledge was the original Cocoa high campus til they split and Cocoa ended up where they are now.

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On 3/10/2022 at 8:11 AM, nolebull813 said:

Some teams have one true rival like Hardee/Desoto. But some teams have multiple rivals. Some are based on history and some are based on proximity. I was curious to know if anyone close to any programs could explain the method behind their top rivals? 

When I played for Charlotte HS, Desoto was our main rival until Port Charlotte HS came along in the 80s.  They were very good back then too but seem to have fallen on hard times recently.

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As the two oldest schools in the city, Lakeland and Kathleen will be rivals until the end of time.  Game week was filled with parties, pranks and unplanned enhancement to school property, LOL.

Lakeland and Lake Gibson have become rivals based on who can lay claim to the city title, especially as of late.  Playoff implications have increased the importance and tension between these two squads.  This season, Lakeland has to prove they can defeat the Braves and we will see if Lake Gibson can retain the throne.  

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3 hours ago, Nulli Secundus said:

As the two oldest schools in the city, Lakeland and Kathleen will be rivals until the end of time.  Game week was filled with parties, pranks and unplanned enhancement to school property, LOL.

Lakeland and Lake Gibson have become rivals based on who can lay claim to the city title, especially as of late.  Playoff implications have increased the importance and tension between these two squads.  This season, Lakeland has to prove they can defeat the Braves and we will see if Lake Gibson can retain the throne.  

It depends some on district and playoff match ups.  There was a stretch in the 80s and early 90s when Bradenton Manatee was arguably Lakeland's biggest rivalry. There were some epic playoff games, and then they shared a district for a few years. From 1996-~2008 you could argue STA was the biggest rival. Right now it sure looks like Lake Gibson.

Lakeland is much more loaded in terms of returning talent and transfers, but LG has some awesome talent back, lots of young prospects, and a few transfers, too. One has to figure Lakeland is the favorite in 2022, but it's hard to imagine a Gibson team with Cormani McClain and Brayshon Williams in the secondary going down easily.

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I know of a rivalry down here in Miami called the Soul Bowl. 

The Soul Bowl originally started between two historically black high schools. Booker T. Washington Senior high school (Overtown) and DA Dorsey Senior high school (Liberty City). I don't know what year the game started but it ended in 1955. 

In 1955 Da Dorsey shut down to become an educational school and Miami Northwestern Senior high school was built. Miami Northwestern was built because of the overcrowding in the area. The game continued until 1967 when Booker T. Washington became a middle school to help desegregation in schools.

In 1967 Miami Jackson Senior high school and Miami Northwestern started their annual game and is still in existence. At the time Jackson was a majority black school and half of the Overtown neighborhood was zoned to Jackson. This game saw crowds of 15,000 yearly or more until 1998 when they saw their biggest attendance. In 1998 Both were in the same district which had Soul Bowl 1 with 46,000 and Soul Bowl 2 with 35,000. This game is still in existence but lost its luster due to the football team and marching band not doing well on Jackson side and the school is now majority Hispanic. This game now draws probably 4,000.

Present day the biggest rivalry in Miami is Miami Central and Miami Northwestern. They been playing I believe since the 80's but have an actual game called the Commissinor Cup since 2009.

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