Farmington High, North Farmington gear up for rivalry clash

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published October 6, 2020

 Farmington High’s Jacob Sanders tries to break a tackle in a game earlier this season. Farmington was 0-3 at press time.

Farmington High’s Jacob Sanders tries to break a tackle in a game earlier this season. Farmington was 0-3 at press time.

Photo Donna Agusti

 North Farmington’s Jasper Beeler pulls away from a Birmingham Groves defender Oct. 2. The Raiders will play rival Farmington High at 7 p.m. Oct. 9.

North Farmington’s Jasper Beeler pulls away from a Birmingham Groves defender Oct. 2. The Raiders will play rival Farmington High at 7 p.m. Oct. 9.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON HILLS — With Farmington Hills Harrison shutting its doors before last season, the stakes increased in the Farmington High and North Farmington High rivalry.

Last year’s game was proof, as the two programs battled for the top spot in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

The Raiders were able to edge the Falcons 13-9, giving them the league title and an undefeated regular season. The Falcons finished just one game behind, with that being their lone loss in conference play.

With the success of each program, they have both moved up to the OAA White this season. The two rivals are set to meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Farmington High.

“These kids grow up, they go to middle school together and they know each other,” Raiders coach Jon Herstein said. “It means something to them to go out and have some school pride and some spirit in the way that they performed.”

At press time, Farmington was sitting at 0-3 overall, while North Farmington was 1-2. Despite the records, the game still has meaning.

Bragging rights, getting to hold “The Jug,” moving up the OAA White standings are all at stake when the two teams hit the field together.

Both coaches admit that the level of intensity ramps up during a rivalry week, but the goal is to play within themselves and not change too much.

With last year’s game coming down to the wire, execution and discipline could play a key role in the outcome of this year’s contest.

“It absolutely ramps up when you’re playing your crosstown rival,” Falcons coach Kory Cioroch said. “It does feel a little bit different. It’s not just another week.”

Though the rivalry can be intense, there is a level of respect between the two programs. They’ve been around each other for a long time and know each other personally.

They’ve gone to the same schools, they see each other around the town, some are even friends across team lines.

But when they get on the field, the game begins and the rivalry heats up.

“I think both teams respect each other,” Herstein said. “As a coaching staff, we respect what they’ve done over there, and we really just got to focus on getting our kids ready and being prepared. They’ve done a good job, so we’ve got to be ready.”

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