Argyle coach Ricky Griffin and Sanger head coach Steve Ford had nothing but nice things to say about each other before this weekend’s Class 3A Region II quarterfinal series between the two baseball teams.
But when the two teams meet this weekend for a best-of-three series, the pleasantries between the two teams and their respective cheering sections will be at a minimum.
If you already have plans for Friday night, go ahead and reschedule, unless those plans consist of watching these two teams play for a berth in the regional semifinals.
Sure, it’s a series between two really good baseball teams. But what makes this matchup especially fun is that these two teams come from two towns that share a fairly intense rivalry.
This certainly isn’t a secret. We wrote about it in DRC Football 2012, when the two schools ended up in two different districts.
What was lost in the district schedule has been gained in the playoffs, especially this year. This weekend’s matchup will be the third time the two schools have met in a team sport.
Argyle won the first two matchups — a 42-22 bi-district victory in the girls basketball playoffs, and a 54-50 bi-district boys basketball playoff win.
The winner of this weekend’s series will face either Paris or Texarkana Pleasant Grove in the regional semifinals.
But wait. Sanger head coach Steve Ford would like to offer some thoughts on the definition of a rivalry.
“I don’t consider anything a rivalry until it starts becoming balanced – until both sides are winning a few games,” Ford said. “Argyle has the upper hand right now. We’re trying to reach that status. But having said that, kids and coaches get into sports for these opportunities, so certainly, this round with these teams is a great situation.”
The area has its share of intense rivalries (Guyer-Lake Dallas quickly comes to mind) and that’s what makes all of this fun. And a good rivalry between one-school towns is something to be cherished.
Bring some sunflower seeds and sunscreen. It’s going to be a fun weekend.
(Also, while you’re waiting for first pitch at 8 p.m. on Friday, here’s Wednesday’s story on Argyle pitcher Drew Gooch and today’s story on Sanger shortstop Ted Wisdom. Check the paper Friday morning for the story on the upcoming series.)
(Staff writer, Texas Tech alumnus and fledgling father Adam Boedeker contributed to this report.)