Rivalries and friendships fostered in football

Published 8:35 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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During the high school football season, local teams face off across the line. Offense and defense on opposing teams look into each other’s eyes, intent upon blocking, tackling, intercepting and ultimately taking home the title of winner. 

But off the field, these same players are often friends. 

Crenshaw Christian Academy traveled Friday to face Lowndes Academy, a team players consider as rivals and friends. 

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We have watched players and cheerleaders from both teams travel to support each other as they play other area teams. We have also watched them huddle and pray together, the winners and the losers arm and arm, celebrating as one. 

On Friday, two Lowndes County Public Schools’ teams met across a field, down the road at The Calhoun School, where the Tigers hosted Central High School Lions for the 57th Annual 45 Classic. On the field, players battled for a trophy only one team could win. 

But off the field, on every other day of the year, these same players, coaches, and cheerleaders are friends, and many attend the same churches and social gatherings. 

And this is the way it should be – opponents on the field, friends and neighbors out in the county. 

In Butler and Crenshaw counties, students-athletes from various schools play together on Parks and Recreation teams and travel to World Series tournaments together. School affiliation is forgotten then, when everyone works together representing the community. 

We enjoy seeing the friendships student-athletes form, on their own team and with others team’s players. It’s difficult to watch when opponents on the field become enemies on the streets and in communities. 

We applaud the parents, coaches, and community leaders who encourage healthy competition while fostering friendships. When the glory days of their high school football sports career are just a speck in the rearview mirror, the unity and camaraderie will remain a bright and shining memory they can nurture and pass along to the next generation.