ABILENE, Texas -

Bring on the tailgating, face painting, pep rallies, halftime showdowns, cookouts, and packed stadiums.  Hometown pride and the annual battles-in-the-trenches are back as high school football returns with a new season and these classic matchups.

The 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the United States Army and Hibbett Sports travels to Abilene, TX on October 4th to highlight one of the most heated rivalries in the country: Abilene vs. Cooper.  

This year marks the 10th anniversary for the Great American Rivalry Series, an elite schedule of football contests across America selected due to their unique and long-standing traditions and rabid fan support. The series will cover 38 states and 68 cities throughout the high school football season, celebrating the schools, their teams, student-athletes, and fans.

Series founder Rick Ford notes that, "With its traditions of family gatherings, bonfires, and pep rallies, high school football has brought together communities to watch their teams compete for more than a hundred years."

This is a game that certainly deserves celebration and national attention. The Abilene Cooper Cougars and Abilene Eagles will take the field for week number seven of the Series' 10th year. Over 15,000 fans are expected to pack the stands of Shotwell Stadium to witness this classic Texas showdown between these long-time rivals.  

GreatAmericanRivalry.com provides fans with a gateway of complete coverage for their favorite rivalry games, past and present. Previews will be posted throughout the season with details of the teams and the history of the rivalries, and after the game, fans can look through photo galleries and read the recap.

From hundreds of annual rivalries, the Cooper-Abilene game was selected as one of the top 100 must-see match ups for the 10th Annual Series. Dating back over 50 years, these teams meet each year in the annual "Cross-town Showdown." In 2012, Abilene came out on top 31-27 in a game that came down to the last possession. In this year's 53rd edition, Cooper will attempt to keep Abilene from taking three rivalry wins in a row.

The winning team earns year-long bragging rights, but the coveted Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, presented on field by the Army, is icing on the cake for a sweet victory.  The game's Most Valuable Player will be named, and the Series also awards the top student-athlete from each school a college scholarship to the school of their choice.

The Great American Rivalry Series emerged from a desire to celebrate the uniquely American cultural phenomenon of high school football.  For a decade, the series spotlights classic gridiron clashes where expectations are sky high and die-hard fans abound.  The atmosphere is rare and for those playing, coaching or attending, it's a truly Great American Experience.

Information for this story provided by Great American Rivalry Series.