EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) Reitz. Mater Dei. Arguably the best high school football rivalry in Indiana and even the entire Midwest
It’s a big game you know. It’s every year on the football side that’s the that’s the game you look forward to, to winning the West Side Nut Club trophy. So it’s definitely a always a great atmosphere. It’s always a big game look forward to.
It’s one unique rivalry. It was voted number one in Indiana a number of times and it’s nationally the televised game of the week, a couple years back.
A lot bigger than than any game you can play. Just because of the status of it. You know, the the West Side Nut Club trophy,
The west side showdown dates all the way back to 1952. The battles lines divide an entire community and even families
I’m third generation of the rivalry. My dad’s dad was the first one and he had three kids and they all played in the rivalry.
Relatives playing, cousins playing and we’ve even had brothers playing for both teams. So it’s a crazy situation.
But its not just about those players putting on the pads. This rivalry is also driven by the fans.
People that would come in from the 60s and have, you know, almost in tears and some in tears about how important it was to them. To come back to this, not first to win or lose, just to come back to that.
The fan base to is where it came into because parents and grandparents and Reitz community Mater Dei community and they want their team to win and their squad to win so they can brag about it for the next 12 months.
And perhaps the best thing about this rivalry, no matter the outcome, is the mutual respect between the two west side traditions
There’s certainly not much love lost between the players on any given night but they’ve been great games and competitive games and really both teams handled themselves in class.
It’s a love hate relationship. And most of it was love but for about two and a half hours there was hate. It just made it so so exciting.
(This story was originally published on October 5, 2021)