Battle of Chenango Renewed for 2019Posted: Updated:
As we prepare for another week of Section 4 High School Football, there is one game on the schedule that stands above the rest. Tomorrow Chenango Valley will travel to Chenango Forks for their yearly tilt on the gridiron. I posed the question to players and coaches on both sides, "What do you think of when you hear Forks vs Valley?"
"Long time rivalry being next store" says Chenango Forks Head Football Coach Dave Hogan. "Schools being 3 miles apart all the kids know each other, it's kind of a neat thing."
"Coming from M-E we would always be rivals with U-E, Vestal, and JC" says Chenango Valley Head Coach Nick Sorrenti. I thought we had big rivalries but then I come here and that's all I hear is beat Forks Beat Forks."
The Battle of Chenango football game between the Chenango Forks Blue Devils and Chenango Valley Warriors is always one of the most anticipated match ups on the Section 4 football schedule largely due to the two schools being separated by a mere 2.9 miles. Forks Coach Dave Hogan has been apart of the rivalry since he took over in 2008. Meanwhile first year CV Coach Nick Sorrenti is new to it. A graduate of Maine-Endwell where he won multiple state championships as a football player, he says it's hard to look at Forks Valley as much of a rivalry.
"How I always looked at rivalries is when you go back and forth win loss win loss" says Sorrenti. "From my knowledge in the past we haven't had much success beating Forks."
It's hard to argue with history. The two football teams have played each other 39 times since 1956, becoming an annual match up in 1978. Forks leads the series 31 to 8 winning the last 26 meetings which includes a couple of playoff tilts. The Warriors last win came in 1994 meaning no player in tomorrow's game has seen a Valley win over Forks on the football field in their lifetime. No matter what side of the streak, each coach looks at the game the same way.
"I made that very clear to the boys" says Sorrenti. It's another team on the schedule, another team we have to prepare for. It just so happens that they're 10 minutes down the road."
"We always talk about taking it one game at a time and trying to get better" says Hogan. "But for the kids there's probably a little bit more there on both sides."
Coach Hogan was absolutely right about that. When talking to the Blue Devils players it was clear how much they want to preserve the streak.
"It's very important to us because we don't want to be the ones to give up that legacy of beating them every year" says Forks Senior Offensive and Defensive Lineman Jonathan Goodspeed. "But they always come ready to go and we're ready for them."
Meanwhile for the Warriors, they want to do everything they can to change the narrative.
"We've been working our whole entire football careers to play in this game and we don't want to be the next team losing" says Valley Senior Offensive and Defensive Lineman Riley Botting. "We want to be the team that comes out on top."
While for Forks it would be another in a long line of wins, Botting and fellow CV senior, Fullback and Linebacker Zachary Wood say it would be much more than that if they came out on top.
"It would be crazy to be able to tell stories to everybody about how you were the team that did it" says Botting.
"It would probably be one of the most crazy experiences of my life" says Wood.
No matter what happens on the field Friday, it'll be a game that players on both sides won't soon forget.
The game will take place tomorrow at 7pm at Chenango Forks. The Blue Devils head into the contest with a record of 4-0 and ranked second in New York State's Class B rankings while the Warriors are 3-1. Hogan says the streak means nothing in regards to this year's match up and says he's been impressed by how quickly Sorrenti has improved CV's program. He expects it to be a well fought game.