THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) - Both Thomasville and Thomas County Central kicked off the 2017 season with wins. Central won at Worth County, while the Bulldogs improved to 1-0 with a win over Cairo, a win that gave them the Syrup Pitcher.
Sounds like a good time for a rivalry, as this week, Thomas County Central hosts Thomasville in the Rose City Rivalry, a game that was reincarnated last season after a three year hiatus.
"You hate each other for about two hours and then you come back and those are the same guys you'll be working with everyday," laughed Thomasville head coach Zach Grage. "It's a lot about bragging rights. I really think we could win the State Championship, but if we lose to Central that's what people will be talking about."
"Twenty years from now this game will be talked about," added Central head coach Bill Shaver. "In your senior year, the senior against you will say hey, we whooped you in that senior year. They want to go out and play it, they want to go out and win it. I don't think they look at the numbers that go along with it."
The Jackets of Central won a close won last season. This year, Thomasville looks to even the score, as Central leads the series 25-24, and get their 700th program win in the process.
Central has owned the match-up. Shaver has lost to the Dawgs just twice in his 24 years, but notes this year his team is young.
Grage said no matter what the depth is like on Central's roster, they are always a fundamentally sound squad.
"It's going to play who's going to play a better football game that night," he said of what it will take for his team to get the win. "I think it does come down to fundamentals, because we're going to stay simple and basic, try and go fast, and just do what we do."
"Obviously when you play a good spread offense like they are, you have to limit their big plays," said Shaver. "If it's a big pass play, or they get you all spread out and it's a big run play, sometimes an individual has to make an individual play when it's a one on one deal."
Friday night's game kicks off at 8:00.