Sikeston and Charleston will square off on the football field for the 130th time to open the 2015 season in one of the nation’s oldest rivalries.
"It's a big game for both communities and it has a lot of tradition by it,” Charleston Head Coach Brett Blackman said. “We're honored to be a part of it."
"I think it's a friendly rivalry,” Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs said. “We'll go play, they'll play and we'll have fun being in a good ballgame."
Since 1908, the year Henry Ford developed the assembly line and six years before the start of World War I, the two teams have been playing football.
Long-time Sikeston resident, Tony Heckemeyer played for the Bulldogs in the '50s.
"Well the equipment’s a lot better for one thing. I remember half our helmets were leather helmets," Heckemeyer said.
He remembers the Charleston games as his favorites.
"It was an event. It wasn't just the football game," Heckemeyer said. "They were always played on Thanksgiving. It made Thanksgiving. Everybody had their ritual day."
Now played on the opening week of the year, some would say the rivalry has lost some of it’s luster. But to the players it’s still special nonetheless.
"It means a lot to have a rivalry and that being that long, that's a lot," Sikeston senior Earnest Fobbs said.
So as the teams step out on the field for Friday’s game, it will be – as it's been for 107 years – history in the making.
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