WHITEHALL – This Friday, Montague and Whitehall will square off on the football field for the 115th time in the rich history of their rivalry.
Players and coaches from both schools, along with some fans, kicked off “Battle for the Bell” week in a big way and made for a lively atmosphere Sunday night at CatchMark Technologies in a special edition of “Coaches Corner.”
Montague coach Justin Dennett and senior receiver/defensive back Tugg Nichols, and Whitehall coach Tony Sigmon and senior lineman Braydn VanPatten were the featured guests on the show, which was hosted by Scott DeCamp of CatchMark SportsNet.
The coaches and players spoke about the big game Friday as well as their memories of the rivalry and what “The Bell” means to them. Meanwhile, several teammates donning Whitehall red and Montague blue jerseys, plus some fans, stood behind them on their respective sides and cheered at different moments.
The Montague-Whitehall football series began in 1921. The Wildcats hold a 64-48-2 all-time edge over the Vikings and for six-straight years have held onto “The Bell,” which stays with the winning team until the next season’s game. Last year, Montague earned a 34-31 victory over Whitehall in a double-overtime thriller.
This Friday’s 7 p.m. showdown at Whitehall carries even more meaning: A West Michigan Conference title is at stake. Montague (6-1 overall, 5-0 WMC) has already clinched a share of the conference championship, while Whitehall (6-1, 4-1) is playing for a piece of the crown. Oakridge (6-1, 4-1), which hosts rival Ravenna on Friday, would also grab a share of the title should the Eagles beat the Bulldogs and Vikings top the Wildcats.
Watch a replay of Sunday’s “Coaches Corner” in the YouTube video above and keep your eyes locked on CatchMark SportsNet and catchmarksports.com for “Battle for the Bell” coverage throughout the week.
Photos by Zach Zweigle | CatchMark
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