The York Comprehensive High School football team shifts its focus to longtime rival Clover this week.
The Cougars, coming off a bye week, face the Clover Blue Eagles at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Clover’s renovated Memorial Stadium, where 8,000-plus fans are expected for the Western York County showdown.
“It’s an old rivalry that’s been around here a long time,” said Cougar coach Bobby Carroll. “It’s a big deal for a lot of people. A rivalry where people that live on one side of the street go to Clover and the other side goes to York is all about bragging rights and stuff.”
Carroll expects a stiff challenge from the Blue Eagles Friday night.
“They don’t have anything to lose,” he said. “We’re 7 and 3 and trying to get a good seed in the playoffs. It’s more than a rivalry game for us.”
Carroll knows emotions run high when York and Clover collide.
“I think it’s a situation where our kids have got to work with these people the rest of their lives and live near them,” he said. “It’s just, hey, what happened in 2015? It’s good. We’re gonna go out there and play as hard as we can play.”
Though Carroll is aware of the magnitude of the rivalry, he said weekly preparations remain the same.
“Personally, for me, every team we play is a rivalry game,” said Carroll. “I don’t look at Clover any differently than I look at Chester, Sumter, Boiling Springs, South Pointe, Northwestern and Rock Hill. The fans have fun with the rivalry, that’s the good thing about it. They can be involved in the game, with two communities so close together.”
Before the bye week, the Cougars defeated Nation Ford and Fort Mill. With quarterback Wally Wilmore and senior running back Brandon Garvin , the offense has produced huge numbers.
“Clover is a real big rivalry game,” Wilmore said. “They play us a good game every year. We’re gonna try to do what we need to do to win.”
Senior Cougar stalwarts offered their take on the Friday showdown:
▪ Ryan Ennis: “Clover will really come after the Cougars. They ain’t got nothing to lose. They’ll try to ruin our season. We know our fans will be there to support us. Defensively, we’ve got to stop those long drives. As a senior, this last Clover game is special.”
▪ Deivonne Chalk: “It’s a big rivalry. We’ve got to watch film and study what they’re doing, so we can adapt to it. They’ve got a good team that is moving the ball. We look forward to the rivalry game.”
▪ Jamar Griffin: “I’m looking forward to the Clover game. It’s gonna be a big game for us because of the rivalry. We’re looking forward to the game and hope to learn from it. The game is special for the seniors and it’s big for the community. We want to play well for our fans and get the crowd going.”
YCHS senior cheerleader Kaitlyn Spires also weighed in. “We look forward to the rivalry game with Clover,” she said. “I hope the Cougars pull out a win Friday night.”