Hometown Rivalry goes down Friday

By Chris Lynn for The Robertson County Times

When White House Heritage and White House take the field at White House Memorial Park, it’s supposed to be a home game for the Patriots, but, because of seating concerns at Heritage, the two teams were forced to play on the Blue Devils’ home field.

Even though it’s not a perfect scenario, Patriot fans can make Memorial Park into their home field for a night, Heritage coach Hunter Hicks said.

“We’re hoping to have a lot of Patriot fans show up, and we need them to show up in red and white to let everyone know that they’re there to cheer us on,” Hicks said. “We get enough red and white in there and make enough noise, then it will be a home game for us, and really, our guys deserve that because they are going to be out there giving everything they have.”

Last year, White House got the best of the Patriots, and it was the start of a three-game losing streak at the beginning of the season. That’s something Hicks is hoping to prevent in his first year as head coach.

“I guess that would make for a pretty good trivia question, but the way our team is looking at it is this is a home game for us because we’re all from White House,” Hicks said. “Over the course of time, I’m sure (Memorial Park) has been their home field.

“As for the importance of this game, I guess it’s important for us to get the win Friday, but we need it more for a confidence factor. We have a tough four-game stretch to open the season. Most of these guys haven’t played under those conditions. We’re not masking anything. They realize this is going to be a tough test, but getting this win Friday would be a big confidence boost.”

Hicks knows White House is going to come out ready to play, and he and his team feel pretty confident that they know what they are going to see from the Blue Devils, he said.

However, Hicks is still worried about his team because he feels like they’ve made some progress over the past couple of weeks, he said.

“Right now, I feel like our defense and offense are on the same level,” Hicks said. “We still have a little work to do on both sides of the ball, but I think once we get out there we will be ready to play.”

There are still two or three positions where players are competing, the coach said.

“As a coach, you wish someone would step up and just take ownership of the position,” he said. “It’s going to happen at some point. We’re just ready for it to happen now.”

Hicks was glad he had a chance to talk to White House coach Jeff Porter after their jamboree games Friday night, he said. The two talked for a while about how the Heritage and White House High game often splits the community, Hicks said.

“We want a great crowd Friday night, and we want everyone to come out and cheer for their team, but after that we want everyone to come together as a community and support both programs,” he said. “We’re all from right here in White House, so this should be a friendly rivalry.”

Kickoff for Friday night’s game will be at 7:30 p.m.

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