Coach Debbie Stroman is a veteran girls high school basketball coach at Lower Richland. Her team has won five state championships, including the last three Class 4A championships. Each week, Coach Stroman gives readers an inside look into high school basketball.
Xavier McDaniel, former NBA basketball player and A.C. Flora graduate, and I always argue about the old school rivalries of the past.
We argue about the Dreher-A.C. Flora rivalry and the LR-Eau Claire rivalry. Whenever we see each other, we often compare the past to the present.
He asked me last week about some of the rivalries now and how they just are not the same.
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I thought about how some recent rivalries were started and I don't think they are any different from the past ones. One of the biggest rivalries was Richland Northeast vs. Lower Richland boys. The gym was packed and we all wanted to be flies on the wall to hear the pregame speech Coach Carl Williams gave the LR boys about winning against his former team and vice versa for Coach Gary Fuller.
Some of these rivalries are just as good as the old ones. The last rivalry game I saw was Spring Valley vs. Dutch Fork girls at Keenan's Taco Bell Tournament. There were players and coaches from all over just to see that game. Coach Anne Long coached Dutch Fork girls last season and is now coaching Spring Valley.
I just wanted to see how Dutch Fork players would respond to Coach Long. I thought it was a good game. The gym was full and teams represented well.
I think there will always be rivalries and good ones, too. The ones that fill gyms and have players and coaches planning all week to see them, and they will be played with as much heart and pride as rivalries of the past.