This season will mark the 72nd installment of Central Florida’s most storied rivalry. The feud began in 1952 when Orlando High School was broken up into Orlando North and Orlando South, both of which would become Edgewater High School and Boone High School. The winner of the football game takes home the Spirit Barrel and holds it until next year’s game. Giving Orlando’s favorite high school football game its name, The Battle of the Barrel.
Every high school has some kind of competitive rivalry, the Jones High School and Evans High School has stayed intense for years but none compare to the heated historical relationship between the Braves and the Eagles. “It (the rivalry) is significant because of the rich tradition and history of both schools and football programs. We respect them while they respect us and that usually makes for a great game,” Head Coach Andrew Johnson said.
“We always have a chance”
At the game, the two schools are separated due to the amount of potential violence going on between players and students. In 2014, the rivalry reached its climax when the totem pole in the courtyard was vandalized by students who were believed to attend Edgewater. The wings, beaks, and noses of the totem pole were hacked off, eggs were thrown at nearby classrooms, and the senior parking lot was vandalized with lewd comments written in red spray paint according to the police and school district.
Edgewater also claimed that students from Boone High School vandalized their campus as well, including; TP-ing their campus and digging up the Eagle head in the middle of their football field. Despite the lingering challenge in the minds of the players that year, the Braves persevered without their cherished totem pole standing tall and emerged victorious with a remarkable 24-14 triumph.
“We have a good idea what Edgewater is trying to do on offense and defense, but more importantly we know they have really good players that are hard to contain on and off the field,” Johnson said.
Both teams are getting stronger and learning new plays, and it is up to the coaches and players to know their classic moves. “Playing at home will definitely give us more of an advantage because we practice and play on our field,” sophomore linebacker Noah Maddox said.
Though both teams work on constructing their offense and defense, Edgewater leads the Battle of the Barrel 48-20. The last time the Braves possessed the barrel was 2017. However, the Brave community and parents have high hopes that Boone will soon prevail.
“We will always have a chance to beat them. The games are tightly played and it usually comes down to who makes the least amount of mistakes,” Johnson said.