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First week of football features rivalry games

The players and the coaches will decide Thursday’s Chilton County High-Jemison game, but the rivalry goes much deeper.

“It’s definitely a fan’s rivalry,” said Jemison coach Brad Abbott, who will be taking part in his ninth game in the series as either an assistant or head coach at Jemison. “It’s big for the two cities.”

CCHS coach Brian Carter, who has seen the rivalry from both perspectives as an assistant at Jemison and as a head coach for the first time last season, agreed, saying alumni either take pride or feel frustration as a result of the outcome of the game, and a win or loss can shape the remainder of a team’s season—for better or for worse.

“All of our kids know all of their kids,” Carter said. “It’s a game where even the people in the community are going to have bragging rights for a year.”

The game at 7 p.m. Thursday will be the first of three contests featuring local rivals this first week of the season.

Verbena visits Thorsby at 7 p.m. Friday, and Maplesville visits Billingsley at the same time.