New Rivalry Sparks With the Opening of GCHS

The+Cardinals+will+take+on+the+Warhawks+for+the+Battle+of+the+Birds+in+August%2C+and+the+Scott+County+community+is+excited+about+the+friendly+competition.++
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New Rivalry Sparks With the Opening of GCHS

The Cardinals will take on the Warhawks for the Battle of the Birds in August, and the Scott County community is excited about the friendly competition.

The Cardinals will take on the Warhawks for the Battle of the Birds in August, and the Scott County community is excited about the friendly competition.

Artwork submitted by DT Wells

The Cardinals will take on the Warhawks for the Battle of the Birds in August, and the Scott County community is excited about the friendly competition.

Artwork submitted by DT Wells

Artwork submitted by DT Wells

The Cardinals will take on the Warhawks for the Battle of the Birds in August, and the Scott County community is excited about the friendly competition.

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Sports thrive on competition.  That’s a fact. With this school year coming to a close, many thoughts have turned towards the next school year, the opening Scott County’s newest high school, Great Crossing High School, and the subsequent competition that is brewing between SCHS and GCHS.  

Great Crossing’s athletic program is underway and busy forming teams, and both teams have risen to the call for school spirit in the form of an intense new rivalry.  Players and coaches from both schools believe that this rivalry will be valuable for both student bodies.

GCHS’s football coach Jason Chappell said, “There are several benefits of playing and/or having a “cross town” or “in town” rival.  First and foremost is the interest generated throughout the entire community. These games generate lots of conversation before, during and after the contest.  Secondly, many different groups are able to get involved to make the contest an exciting night for all.”

As a result of this new rivalry, school spirit seems to be on the increase. Athletes from both schools have a new sense of excitement where it comes to sports. Junior Colton Combs will continue to be a Cardinal, and he believes the change will be positive. “I think it’s good for us to have a rivalry, because it gives us motivation to beat someone more than other teams. We want to be top dog in town,” Combs explained.

There are several benefits of playing and/or having a “cross town” or “in town” rival.  First and foremost is the interest generated throughout the entire community. These games generate lots of conversation before, during and after the contest.  Secondly, many different groups are able to get involved to make the contest an exciting night for all.”

— Jason Chappell, Great Crossing Head Football Coach

Jim McKee, head football coach for SCHS, understands the value of rivalries and has much experience with them. McKee’s biggest high school rivals were Paris High School and Bourbon County High, and he remembered how it encouraged the drive of players. McKee said, We really wanted to beat them, and they really wanted to beat us, so it was fun. Rivalry drives you to work harder and be at your best.”  

McKee also explained that rivalries are great at getting students to come together and really enjoy the sport.  “Sports are supposed to be fun; kids should play because they love the sport. And I love coaching. We are super fired up to play Great Crossing!”

Evidence of students being fired up is easy to see.  Junior Austin Taylor is passionate about remaining a Cardinal next year. Taylor’s Cardinal pride is so strong that he jokingly commented that he doesn’t “communicate with anyone of the Warhawk religion.”

Athletes transitioning to the new program will be faced with the task of competing against their friends and old teammates. Coach Chappell admitted that he hadn’t given a lot of thought to this aspect of starting a new football program, but he said that he believes in running a positive program.  “We will drive home the point that we can love and respect our friends a great deal, but still play to the standards we establish for ourselves after the opening kickoff. I’ll expect our kids to handle all pre-game activities and themselves in a first class manner. In all of the rivalry games that I have been a part of, most of the players are friends and share a mutual respect,” he explained. 

All great rivalries are FIERCE!”

— Jim McKee, Scott County Head Football Coach

Junior Reilly Ray, a track athlete will be part of the first graduating class at Great Crossing High. She agreed that having competition close to home will be a motivator.  Ray explained, “It will definitely amp up the amount of effort and workout into each sport knowing that there’s someone just across the road that wants to beat you just as bad as you want to beat them.”

Coaches feel enthusiastic about the possibility for heightened school spirit and is making plans to start new traditions that will engage both players and their supporters. Coach Chappell said “I look forward to having all of our staff and players learn the new fight song for Great Crossing, so that we can sing it with our fans after games.”

The first contest between the Cardinals and the Warhawks will happen on August 23rd, 2019, as the two football programs face each other.  This event is being called “The Battle of the Birds,” and is hopeful to draw a large crowd that wants to support athletes on both sides. All rivalries can be fun and respectful but Coach McKee exclaimed “All great rivalries are FIERCE!”