Oak Mountain, Spain Park to be featured on MaxPreps Rivalry SeriesPublished 3:31pm Thursday, October 10, 2013
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Oak Mountain and Spain Park football teams will be the fifth rivalry game to be featured on the inaugural “MaxPreps Rivalry Series presented by the National Guard.” The announcement was made by MaxPreps, a California-based company that offers comprehensive high school sports coverage, and the Oak Mountain-Spain Park game on Oct. 11 will be just one of 11 rivalries in the country being showcased this year.
From September through November, MaxPreps and the National Guard are travelling the country, highlighting a unique rivalry between local high school football teams and celebrate the spirit that rallies their community every fall season.
“It is hard to imagine sports without powerful emotions triggered by fierce rivalries,” MaxPreps President and Founder Andy Beal said. “For players, coaches and fans, gearing up for rivalry games makes the long grind of practice ‘worth the work.’ In fact, there are few things in life that conjure up the raw emotion and excitement that comes with preparing for and competing against your high school’s rival — and that’s what the MaxPreps Rivalry Series presented by the Army National Guard is all about.”
Oak Mountain is only two miles away from Spain Park, and the close proximity has fueled a rivalry over the past decade. Even though both football programs are fairly young — Oak Mountain in 1999 and Spain Park in 2002 — the Eagles and Jaguars have competed against one another from the start. This year will be their eleventh match-up with Spain Park holding the advantage as they have won the last six years and currently hold an undefeated record. However, with the Eagles coming off two wins against Pell City and Chelsea, anything is possible on Friday under the field lights.
“Having MaxPreps and the National Guard spotlight our game is meaningful,” Oak Mountain head coach Cris Bell said. “This game against Spain Park is not only a rivalry game, but also a region game. It is good for our program to be recognized. It is a chance for us to prove that we deserve to be in the conversation.”
Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney agreed.
“Because of the proximity of the schools, Oak Mountain is a natural rival, with our players knowing many of theirs,” he said. “Anytime you bring publicity to a football program, it is a great benefit to everyone involved, especially the players. We really appreciate the recognition from MaxPreps and the National Guard.”
As a part of the Rivalry Series, MaxPreps and the Alabama National Guard have been on campus the week leading up to the game to share the experiences and perspective from both teams as they prepare for Friday’s big game. MaxPreps’ editorial team aims to bring the excitement and passion to life with the Rivalry Series online hub www.maxpreps.com/rivals through personal interviews with players, students, staff and the community in photo, video and social conversation.
On game day, MaxPreps and the National Guard will create an interactive ‘Game Day’ experience where students and fans from both schools can participate and compete in football tosses and more.
Alabama Army National Guard Master Sgt. Latosha Moultrie will present the winning team with the Army National Guard Rivalry Trophy after the game. This trophy, which features the Minuteman statue, will be engraved with the final game score and be updated each year so the trophy can be displayed year-round at the winning team’s school.
“For over 375 years, the men and women of the National Guard have come to the aid of their neighbors during times of need. As Citizen-Soldiers who serve part-time, we live and serve in more than 3,500 communities throughout the country,” said Maj. Mark Burns of the Army National Guard. “It is our privilege to honor and celebrate the competitive spirit of our neighbors, sons, and daughters through the MaxPreps Rivalry Series presented by the National Guard.”
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Heardmont Park, located at 5458 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham.