Hometown Showdown caps off Rivalry Week


photo by Chatham Farrell

Running back Jordan Gilbert stiff arms a tackler during last year’s game against Oviedo. The varsity team lost 48-27. This year’s game will be on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

Bryson Turner, Online Editor

There are three things that every student, regardless of grade, looks forward to every year: homecoming, the last day of school, and any big game versus Oviedo.

The varsity football team will face Oviedo in Sam Momary Stadium Friday at 7 p.m.

Dubbed the Hometown Showdown, the annual rivalry game has become a city staple since the first varsity football game between the two in 2007; not even a looming Hurricane Irma last year could keep it from happening.

“The rivalry has been around forever,” senior Sophia Dasilva said.

The game might not matter much for district and playoff hopes, it has not stopped any of the varsity players from naming the game as a highlight every year.

Quarterback Sammy Cordero is looking for his fifth touchdown of the season and running back Ethan Lopez is hoping to continue the momentum he had against Winter Springs last week, where he ran for 176 yards on 20 carries. He started the game in place of fellow running back Jordan Gilbert, who sat out the game as a precaution so that he will be a guarantee for this game.

“Two teams in one small city,” Gilbert said. “It’s the biggest game of the year.”

Much of this is backed up by the sense of familiarity the game brings. Students have significant others at the opposite school, while others have friends from their middle school days at Jackson Heights or Lawton Chiles that they see at the game.

In this year’s contest, however, there is more bringing the two schools together than just tradition. Sept. 7 it will mark three weeks since Oviedo senior tight end Britton Daniel was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Both schools had yellow-outs for their regular season openers against Lake Brantley and Timber Creek, in Daniel’s honor already, but with the rivalry game also doubling as the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Game, the yellow #B11 Strong shirts will be on sale again for $5 on Friday’s game.

“It reminds us that we all have to fight together, support each other, and be loyal to each other,” principal Dr. Mary Williams said. “We might go to different schools, but we’re all going to be wearing yellow.”

While this year’s game will be partially about Daniel, it has always been about the relationship between rivals. Head Coach Phil Ziglar knows a thing or two about rivalries. Before accepting the position of varsity football coach, he was the head coach at Boone High School for 23 years, rival of Edgewater since both opened in 1952.

“It’s a community,” Ziglar said. “It’s where two [schools] come together and they’re playing for the title of who’s the best in their community that year.”

For more information on the days leading up to game, check out the rivalry week story on the HagertyJourn Instagram page