Spotlight on: Texas High vs. Arkansas High Rivalry
Hometown: Texarkana, Texas
Group: TX Class 4A & AR 6A
By Omar Muhammad
Basic rivalries often feature longtime rivals that have bitter dislike for one another, usually because they are in the same conference, a close proximity, or have played each other quite frequently.
And while these two schools certainly have a feud, Texas vs. Arkansas is not your typical rivalry – it’s a little more complex than that.
Not only are the two schools just six miles away from each other in different states, but also they share the same city – Texarkana – which sits on the border of Texas and Arkansas.
Talk about unique.
Ever since 1912, these two border teams have been clashing helmets to find out who is really the No. 1 team in Texarkana. And to make it even more interesting, the victor each year goes home with the coveted Battleaxe rivalry trophy.
Arkansas has been fighting hard to take back the trophy but hasn’t been successful for much of the past decade. Texas has won the rivalry game each year since ’01.
Meanwhile, there are countless traditions and fan contributions that make this one of America’s top rivalries.
Every year, fanatics from both Texas and Arkansas come together to pump up this big game. For example, Texas boasts a peculiar pregame ritual where fans conduct a bacon fry with the team. You heard it right, Texas supporters will fry bacon to symbolize how they plan to “fry the hogs” in the game later in the day.
Arkansas also has a similar pregame breakfast, but the Hogs serve “Tiger Tails” (also known as an orange donuts twist) and Orange Crush soda.
Both schools also share a common thread for elite football talent. Currently, Texas High features junior quarterback Nathan Sorenson (who threw for 1,638 yards and 13 scores as a sophomore). In the backfield, the squad boasts a 1,000-yard rusher in Leroy Jones and major Div. I wide receiver recruit Cibi Hamilton.
While Arkansas has been struggling this year because of a lineup filled with young players, the squad is a two-time defending Class 6A Arkansas state champion and featured six All-State players last year.
In this season’s battle for the Battleaxe, Texas, now averaging over 40 points per game, defeated the Hogs with ease, 49-24, on the “road.”
While Texas has dominated the matchup in recent years, both communities know very well that this matchup is more than just a final box score. It’s about the pride and traditions of a city and two high schools that will likely be honored for years to come.
Look for Omar’s High School Spotlight’s each week right here at FootballPower.tv. If you have any schools that would make a great spotlight feature, send your school and a brief description to editor Adam C. Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org.