As is the case with any rivalry game, it's not hard for William Monroe and Madison County to find motivation for Friday night's showdown at Monroe.
"When the border rivalry comes into play not much has to be said," Monroe coach Mark Sanford said at practice Thursday. "These guys look forward to that, I know both team's kids know each other, they play in various baseball leagues together and basketball leagues together and played together since they were little kids. So yeah this is obviously a big deal for both kids."
"Yeah the kids get excited for this, the community gets excited so when they go home or they stop by the store or something, the people in the community ask them 'Hey are you ready for this week, this is the week' so it makes it a lot of fun for them," Madison coach Stuart Dean added.
Neither team has had a leg up in the rivalry in recent seasons.
Madison County won last year's battle at home, 48-14, while Monroe dominated the previous season's matchup, 67-21.
Even though neither team comes into the game with a winning record on the season, players on both sides say the records don't matter in these types of games.
"I think all of us get way more pumped than normal just because of how big the rivalry is and how long it's been going on so yeah, it's a big week," Monroe junior running back Cody Perkins said.
"Yeah I'm really looking forward to this game, like I said, most important game of the year," fellow junior Joshua King added. "We're just real excited, can't wait."
The players on the Madison side agree.
"Tomorrow I will wake up hyped, that's just how it is," senior receiver Ashton Weakley explained. "You will be hyped instantly, ready to go, ready to hopefully win."
"We know them, it's rough every year," senior Colin Shifflett added. "You just want to go out there and play your hardest because when volleyball or basketball season comes around they'll be talking about the football game. And you want to go out there and say 'you can't say nothing about it.'"