Red Devils revisit rivalry

Published 8:20 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is nothing in all of football quite like a rivalry matchup, and the stakes are even higher when both teams are at the top of their game.

Expect an electric atmosphere when the third-ranked Maplesville Red Devils (4-0) travel to the No. 5 ranked team in Class 2A, Sweet Water (3-1) Friday night in what should be an absolute barnburner.

There’s no denying the rivalry between the two teams; the last two times the schools met, a trip to the state championship game was on the line.

Sweet Water won both, each time en route to the state Class 1A Championship. And if you think that Red Devil fans have forgotten, you’d better think again.

In the five years since that match-up, both teams have won at a torrid pace, with Sweet Water amassing a 50-11 record with Maplesville racking up a 44-8 win-loss mark.

While most schools like to schedule a tune-up game in their non-region weeks, MHS coach Brent Hubbert said scheduling the powerhouse Sweet Water made perfect sense to him.

“I didn’t know we were supposed to schedule wins,” he said, in reference to scheduling a tough game mid-season. “I thought you scheduled games to make you better.”

While travelling to Sweet Water might seem even more daunting, Hubbert said that being on the road wasn’t all that much of a factor to his team, especially since none of this group of Red Devils have played Sweet Water.

“We’ve played down there before,” he said. “We’re not really worried [about being on the road]. We’re just excited to play a program of that caliber.”

While some might expect a sense of nervousness in any player going into a big game, Hubbert said he has yet to see any reservations from his players.

“They seem excited,” he said. “You get to measure yourself as a football player and as a team [playing a program like that].”