STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- The Starkville Academy Volunteers have been plagued by a rival just 20 minutes down the road. In 2022, they've got a strong belief that this is the year that its their turn to send their rivals home for the winter.
"That's something everybody wants to talk about, it's rivalry, it's district, well one time in state championship, and they put us out the two years after that," Head coach Chase Nicholson said. "It's just been one of those things for a reporter, for a news person, it's a great news piece."
The Volunteers have not beaten rival Heritage Academy since 2017 and have had to watch their rivals win two state championships in that time frame. This year's seniors, have never beaten the Patriots and they're hoping that changes this season.
"We've lost to our rival a lot here in the last few years, that keeps it in the back of our heads," Senior Jackson Walters said. "We just want to win that game and keep going in the playoffs."
Coach Nicholson said that these seniors, this team, is one of the tightest bunches he's ever been around. If there's one team that the can break this losing streak, it's these guys.
"They're a lot of fun, they mesh well together, but they work really hard and have a really good time doing it," Nicholson said. "I think that's really what it is, because of the different personalities that exist, it makes that work ethic and that fun just gel perfectly."
And that sentiment was echoed by senior running back Charlie Nicholas, when I asked him what he's looking forward to most his last season.
"Just hanging out with them, hanging out with all these guys," Nicholas said. "All the practices, all the games, just everything we do together."