Great American Rivalry Series
With the homogenization of mainstream sports and increasingly transplant supported fan bases at the professional levels, there are very few opportunities to get a local experience any more. Enter high school football. Most of the country have a few schools nearby with passionate supporters and longstanding traditions.
This uniquely American sport and cultural phenomenon is something the Great American Rivalry Series aims to celebrate. Tonight, they kick off their 15th year with the Battle of the Bluefields. A century old rivalry between two towns that share a name, Bluefield, across a state line. Bluefield High School, West Virginia and Graham High School, Virginia begin every season with this rivalry game at Mitchell Stadium, the field they both call home. This 10,000 seat stadium packs out every year for this game. Which means, as many people from these two towns with a total population around 15,000 make it out to this game, as do people in Miami attend each Marlins game. What you give up in quality of play, is more than made up in quality of atmosphere for this one.
It's too late to make plans to attend, unless you live in southwestern Virginia or southeastern West Virginia, but this year's game will be broadcast on Facebook. The Great American Rivalry Series has three more games on the schedule that should be added to any American football rivalry bucket list and to just give you idea starters for that next road trip.
- September 21st | St. Thomas Aquinas vs Miami Central | Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- October 26th | Chandler vs Hamilton (Battle for Arizona Ave.) | Chandler, AZ
- November 2nd | Pahokee vs Glades Central (Muck Bowl) | Pahokee, FL (I'm not gonna lie, you're not going to want to go to this place, unless you absolutely love football.)