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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Rivalry Crusades for football bragging rights

They share numerous things in common, and yet they are so different. But one thing that Immanuel High School and Fresno Christian will always share is a friendly rivalry that engulfs both schools at every meeting. It is arguably one of the most heated rivalries among Central Valley high schools.

Dave Hansen, who is currently taking a one-year hiatus from coaching, knows all too well how intense the competition between the two schools can be. As the head coach for Immanuel’s varsity team from 1993-2001, he has witnessed blowout losses and games so close that no team deserved to lose.

This is a sentiment echoed by several Immanuel varsity players. Kevin Souza, a junior at Immanuel, said that while he doesn’t know exactly when or how the rivalry started, he did say that it was a serious, yet fair one. Both schools have participated in competition while sportsman like attitudes have remained prevalent.

“It has been a friendly rivalry but in the last couple years, we’ve pretty much always beat them,” Souza said. “Like last year, we beat them in basketball, baseball, and football, and in some pretty big games too.”

FC Head coach Jon Hall views the upcoming game against his former team as a chance for FCS to prove that this is their year to shine.

“This is our time to shine,” coach Hall said. “I’m not predicting a victory here, but I think that we are better prepared to play them then last year.” Hall added, “This is a rivalry that will never die. No matter who wins, the other team will start looking for payback. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.”

During Hansen’s tenure with Immanuel, the Eagles have won three Valley Championships to go along with seven league titles. The team’s offensive coordinator for the last two years, Justin Riddle, will be assuming the head coaching position. Both Souza and Hansen agree that the varsity team will do well this year.

“We lost some great players,” Hansen said, “but I think that will give a chance to some of the younger guys to prove themselves.”

The biggest loss for Immanuel was senior Kyle Kupiec, who quarterbacked the team last year. Replacing him will be junior Neal Hubman, who starts his first season as a starting quarterback.

FC players are excited and nervous to play the number one team in Division 5 so early in the season.

“My goal is to not allow a sack against Sam (Fisher) during the Immanuel game,” Cale Livingston, ’04, said. Livingston plays offensive right tackle. “We have to come out strong in the beginning in order to win.”

Fisher, is returning as a fourth year varsity quarterback, and was named second-team all league quarterback in the East Sierra League last year.

While it is uncertain who will win, one thing is for sure: the feeling of excitement and anticipation will be electric when the two teams take the field at Kingsburg High Stadium on Aug. 30.

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