DALTON -- Listen to the respective coaches for Hoosac Valley and Wahconah describe Saturday night’s game between these two very old rivals.
"Hopefully, it’ll be a typical Hoosac-Wahconah game," said Hurricane coach Dayne Poirot. "Very physical, a lot of hitting."
"It’ll be a slugfest," said Wahconah coach Gary Campbell, Jr. "It usually is."
The Hurricanes and Warriors meet tonight at 6 in Dalton. Both are 4-0. Both teams have playoff aspirations. Both coaches are well aware of the ramifications of a win -- or a loss.
In addition to the game itself, Wahconah will be honoring the members of the school’s four Super Bowl champions at halftime.
That would be the teams of 1983, 1998, 2003 and 2012.
"We’ve invited all the members of those teams," said Campbell. "It’s the 30th anniversary of the 1983 team, the 15th anniversary of the 1998 team, the 10th anniversary of the 2003 team and the first [anniversary] of the 2012 team. So it works out pretty well."
The halftime break will be extended for the ceremonies.
But as diverting as that ceremony may be for the fans, both coaches will be concentrating on their 2013 teams.
"The past two years, records haven’t meant much," said Poirot. "The games have been competitive."
Last year, the 2-2 Hurricanes, desperate for a victory, knocked off the Warriors decisively in the regular season, 21-8. It was a game the Hurricanes used as a springboard to the post-season.
But Wahconah earned a measure of revenge in the playoffs with a 22-0 win en route to the school’s fourth Super Bowl championship.
At the beginning of the year, both Poirot and Campbell said they were not sure the two schools would again be in the hunt for a post-season berth.
"I don’t know," said Poirot. "We didn’t really know where we were going to be this year. It’s hard to predict. And during the season, every week is different. I guess in the end, you just have to keep winning, and everything works itself out."
"I think you always set goals for the year," said Campbell. "You want to win as many game as possible, and you want to win championships. But obviously, all that is easier said than done. I think it’s a tribute to both programs, because we both lost players to graduation and injury, but we’re back here."
In addition to a deep mutual respect, however, Campbell added that these are two teams that don’t really like each other.
"And I say that with great respect for the program up there," he said. "But we’ve been county powers and rivals for a long time. The kids have known each other for a long time.
"It’s a lot like fighting your brother," he said. "After you beat the heck out of each other, you have to respect each other."
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