This Friday night, Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School will meet for a cross-town rivalry football game that dates all the way back to the 1960s.
Back in 1964, Downers Grove South joined district 99;leading to students being diverted to the new school, and allowing the district to serve the greater Woodridge area, as well as Downers Grove, Westmont, Bolingbrook and many more.
Today, these two schools are ranked amongst the top schools in not only DuPage County, but in the state of Illinois. In terms of athletics, Downers South would come away with more championships than North in many sports. Still, however, athletic competitions still bring out a certain type of “rivalry” between these sister schools… friendly rivalry.
Many students in the district know each other, and see each other regularly, even though they do not attend the same school. The Downers Grove community is rather large, but at the same time, it is rather small. Some students at North High are friends with other students at South High. They’ve attended middle school together and have been a part of other community events together. The district even has certain events and competitions in which they compete together.
Just because these two schools are in the same district, and have been called “rivals” since the day Downers South was added to district, does not mean these two schools do not like each other.
I spent three years broadcasting both Downers North and Downers South football on the district radio station, WDGC. The highlight of every year was this North vs. South matchup because of the way the community views the game. They see is as a challenge against their friends. I know from walking around Carsten’s Field during these games, that the parents of the players are talking to each other as if they are best friends.
The bottom line is this: Downers Grove is a community that is close, and a football game between “rivals” simply brings the community together. This is a chance to see friends that are not normally seen, and better yet, see talent that is not normally seen by the other side. Both teams are playing hard this year. For the first time in a while, the Trojans have gone undefeated for their first three games.
This game will be exciting, as it is every year. The game preview will be coming up soon, but in all reality, this is a fun game to be played. There will obviously be a winner in the game, and the winner will hold bragging rights for a year. It’s high school football at its best.