Fuquay takes on Willow Springs in new rivalry

The 5-4 Fuquay-Varina High School varsity football team is one win away from the playoffs. This week, their opponent is the 1-8 Willow Spring Storm. 

This is the first-ever varsity matchup between these two teams. Separating the schools is just five miles and a ton of animosity.

Last year, in the JV matchup, the Bengals were able to grab a win. Willow Springs inaugural season has gone about as well as you could expect. With a team composed of mostly juniors and sophomores, the Storm has had it rough this season.

In the exact opposite situation is Fuquay. As a team fresh off a heartbreaking playoff loss to Laney last year, the Bengals looked to make a statement this year. After an 0-3 start, losing to three prospective playoff teams, Fuquay-Varina has stormed back into the playoff picture after winning five of their last six games. 

This week’s game has certainly been circled on Willow’s bulletin board for months. Fuquay is sure to see the Storm’s best, as this game is basically Willow Spring’s Super Bowl. 

This sentiment, however, is something that isn’t shared by their opponent.

“This is not a rivalry because this is our first game versus them on varsity. They have talent, but they haven’t developed yet,” said Bengal’s junior safety Zach Christeson.

The eyes of the entire town will be fixed on this game, as many people have ties to one of the two schools. 

“What’s cool about this game is that we used to go there, and it’ll be cool to go play a game at a stadium that we used to call home,” said senior wide receiver Cameron Ferrell.

Friday’s game is being dubbed the “Blessing Bowl,” as both schools will not only be competing on the field but off of it as well. Fans of both schools are being asked to donate non-perishable food items when they arrive at the game. The school that receives the most donations will be awarded a trophy and dubbed the Blessing Bowl Champion. The food drive will benefit the Fuquay-Varina Emergency Food Pantry. 

“It’s great to give back to our great community. We love that we’re making an impact off the field,” said Ferrell.

This week’s game is the start of a new rivalry that will be a major topic of discussion in our town for years to come.