Every year, football players and coaches at Rye Cove and Twin Springs circle the final week of the regular season on the calendar for one of Southwest Virginia’s biggest rivalry games.
The Scott County neighbors are just a few miles apart, but the two communities are at war with each other in the second weekend of November.
“Week 10 is the best game of the year,” said Twin Springs senior Corbin Kilgore. “At the end of the game, we all love each other. We talk to each other outside of school and we hang out, but everybody’s looking toward game 10.
“We’ll go hunting, fishing together, hang out at the pool, anything. Except for that one night. That’s when it’s no relationships. We’re out there to play football.”
ALL TOO FAMILIAR
The rivalry has another level added to it with the two teams’ coaches.
Rye Cove’s Cheyenne Osborne was a standout athlete for the Eagles, particularly on the football field.
Osborne graduated from Rye Cove in 2000 after being named the Cumberland District player of the year for two years in a row.
Like his counterpart, Twin Springs coach Keith Warner is a graduate of the school where he is now the coach.
Warner graduated in 2006 from Twin Springs, where he starred in three sports – including football.
“It’s a big game and it’s a big deal around here,” said Warner.
Last year, Rye Cove defeated the Titans 28-8. It was the first Eagle victory in the rivalry game in eight years.
“It was a big deal,” Osborne said. “It was the first time any of our seniors had beat them. It was the first time anyone on our team had beat them.”
PLAYING FOR PRIDE
Through the years, the game has been crucial in determining whether one or both teams advanced into the postseason.
Recently, both teams have struggled and the game has meant nothing but bragging rights for the next year.
Rye Cove finished 4-6 last year in Osborne’s first year back at the helm of the Eagle program. He coached Rye Cove for three years, 2012-14, before resigning.
Osborne is hoping last year’s win carries over to the start of this season.
“It was a big win for us and the kids are excited,” he said. “It was good to see them coming off the field from the last game with a win.”
Twin Springs finished 1-9 last season in Warner’s first year.
“We struggled last year but the kids have stuck with it and things are looking good this year,” Warner said.
The coach is hoping increased numbers and interest in the program translates to a few more wins this season, especially the game on Nov. 8 when the Titans host the Eagles.