It may be a battle between two Texas heavyweights, have multiple nicknames and Twitter hash-tags and it may have the ability to have a town buzzing an entire week before kickoff. For the actual kids on the field for Abilene and Cooper high schools, it's just another game, a chance to snag bragging rights, or a final opportunity to do something you've loved to do your entire life, compete against your best friend in the whole world.
"We grew up together playing pop warner, he was on the Cowboys I was on the Jets," AHS wide receiver Keevan Lucas told KTXS on Thursday.
"We're not enemies, we're friends...except for this week," CHS Wide Receiver Anthony Pierson responded. It seems these kids have been friends their entire lives with the exception of a few. It comes as no surprise in the tight knit community that is Abilene, TX.
The pop-warner days are long behind these local football heros but the friendships remain the same. "Keevan Lucas was our wide receiver on the cowboys and Chantz Anderson was our center," Cooper defensive lineman Quinn Harrill recolected after practice Wednesday.
"He's just wearing a different color jersey now, I don't wish anything bad on him," Lucas explained.
So as the hour grows near, the flags are raised and whistle blown, fans should realize the friendly nature in which this "fierce" rivalry is played. Whether on the same pop warner team or opposing 5A high school squads, these kids keep it all into perspective.