Old-fashioned high school rivalry – college style

It’s a scorching 94 degrees. Everyone in the stands is looking onto the field of Independent Stadium. Next thing you know, there is uproar as the receiver dashes the ball down the field.Touchdown! He scores! The crowd goes wild while the band plays the fight song.

This would be the ideal game for Grambling State students, but there are others who do not feel this way.

Five miles up the road, one is prepped to think that Louisiana Tech students are looking for an upset for the Tigers at this weekend’s Port City Classic. But overall, there is a feeling of competitive camaraderie amongst fans.

“I’m excited to see how it’s going to be because Grambling is so close to us. It’s going to be cool to see the neighbors playing each other,” said Alex Hermes, a junior from Tech.

She also stated that the game would begin a relationship between the Highway 80 schools.

The first meeting between two teams is generally the one to remember because of the emotion and intensity. Grambling students are excited, but Tech is just as revved up, maybe even more so.

When asked about the contest, a group of students exclaimed, “We will come together. It will make us interact a whole lot more, and maybe there will be a lot more animosity. It will be a good rivalry like high school.”

So if a high school rivalry is what the Tech student thinks, can this be the beginning of a new relationship with the neighboring schools?

Sonny Dykes, first year head football coach at Tech, said, “I think it will be good for it. I think it’s like anything else.

“We could be neighbors,.We can be friends and we can compete against each other. I think it will be really good for both schools. I think it is something long overdue.”

He, like everyone else, is hoping for a good relationship, but some foresee animosity.
This is may be something to watch out for during this weekend’s game.

There seems to be another aspect to the game that both Grambling and Tech students are ready to see, the revamped Grambling State Marching.

The “Baddest Band in the Land” was the highlight of conversation during numerous interviews with Tech students.

“I think we are really excited. We dance with the band,” said Tech sophomore Sonni Bennett.

Grambling State students have been hearing and seeing the new and improved product and are brimming with anticipation for the 12-minute halftime show.

Now that summer camps have ended, it’s time for the real work to begin. This is the season opener for both teams.

“I’m anxious to get out there and play,” Dykes said. “I know our players are. They are tired of hitting each another.

“It’s going to be nice to line up against somebody else. Have a chance to see where we are. It will be a great measuring stick for our program,” he said.

Regardless of the weekend outcome fans hope this will better the relationship with the neighboring schools and begin to see more integrated activities.