WHITEHALL – Unless you live in the White Lake area, you might not totally appreciate the importance of “The Bell.”
Based upon the jubilation of Whitehall’s football team following a 34-14 victory over neighboring rival Montague in the “Battle for the Bell” Friday night, it means everything.
As a historical piece early last week on catchmarksports.com illustrated, a river separates the two communities, but the gap between them may as well be the Grand Canyon in some ways. That’s how fiercely loyal Vikings can be to Whitehall and Wildcats can be to Montague.
The bell definitely meant a great deal to the Vikings, after the Wildcats had possessed it for the previous six years. After it traded hands near midfield immediately following Friday’s game, Vikings players hoisted and rang the bell, as the sound echoed through the stadium.
The CatchMark SportsNet Game of the Week really was the game of the year for those in the White Lake area, as fans showed up in droves. By the end of the night, Whitehall, Montague, and Oakridge had each claimed a share of the West Michigan Conference title. For the Vikings, that’s their first league championship in 22 years.
To see Whitehall’s celebration as well as highlights for both sides, check out the cinematic video above.
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