Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: A great rivalry

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: A great rivalry


THERE WAS A TIME when the stands on both sides of the stadium would be full when the Dierks Outlaws and the Mineral Springs Hornets played their annual football rivalry game. The stands would be full and there’d be a couple hundred more hanging on the fence.

Feelings would be high. And hopes. Very often, the winner of the game would be district champ.

I’m here to tell you it’s STILL a great rivalry game. Stands are not so full, but still very vocal.

The players on both sides clearly know the tradition of the Howard County rivalry.

The Hornets and the Outlaws faced again, last Friday night. I was there as an interested observer (not as sportswriter) and to officially present the Howard County Cup to the winning team. The cup was the brainchild of our former competitors down the street, and we thought it was a good idea to continue. It would be my first time to make the presentation.

I want to say that none of the players on either team had any juice left when the final buzzer sounded. They played their hearts out for four quarters. There was no quit. I enjoyed the game, bands and cheer squads. And running into old friends, too.

Both teams have enviable histories in football. But this time neither team had won a single game by the midway point of the season.

You’d have thought each team had an undefeated streak, the way they competed.

An extra ingredient in this year’s game was that the Hornet coach is a former Outlaw coach. I was glad to see that in the handshake line after the game a number of Outlaws went out of their way to shake his hand and to speak. He gave them hugs and best wishes, too.

In the bedlam at the center of the field, I tried to do a Hollywood presentation of the large silver cup. But it was hard to get the players and moms and dads to stand back respectfully. I don’t blame them one bit because it had been a long time since the Hornets won.

I told the players that this was a great rivalry, and that probably several of them had fathers and grandfathers who played in the game.

As I walked away from their celebration I thought about the last time I had been in ‘the hollow’ for a Hornet-Outlaw tussle. I was on the sidelines taking pictures, and was too close to the action. A Hornet ran over me. I thought my leg was broken but didn’t want to let on how bad it hurt.

It was a minute or two before the halftime break, and when the horn honked I hid my limp and went to my buggy which I had cleverly parked about a quarter-mile away. I’m not sure but I may have sat there and cried before motoring home.

The leg wasn’t broken. I vowed to stay farther from the action in future photo assignments.

That memory also sparked the memory of our own John R. Schirmer who was running down the sidelines at a Scrapper game years ago. The game was played in the monsoon season and the ditches around the field were full. He fell, but managed to hold his camera up out of the water.

Of course, you already know about two years ago when the junior high cheerleaders broke his leg. But that’s another story and I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.

The ‘third leg’ of the local rivalry is yet to be played. Mineral hosts the Murfreesboro Rattlers this weekend, and the Outlaws and Rattlers still haven’t played. Those games will be passionate. The Navigator told me that when she was a Rattler cheerleader, they’d rather beat Mineral Springs than anyone else.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. I’m guessing it’s due to the dry times pushing them inside the city limits to find food and water, but there are more ‘run over’ animals on Nashville streets than there have been in a month of Sundays.

Raccoons, skunks, possums, squirrels and some that stubbornly remain unidentified. One critter I haven’t seen much of this summer — knock on wood — are snakes. Dang. Why did I say that?

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GOOD NEWS you might not know.  Inpatient, outpatient, and surgery patients at Howard Memorial Hospital were surveyed last year, and 98% said they’d recommend the hospital, the doctors and staff to family and friends.

Aren’t we lucky to have Howard Memorial!

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: It’s still good to save for a rainy day, but you’ll get a smaller umbrella for your money, now.

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Oh my gosh, more triplets: Signed, Sealed and Delivered. And don’t waste your time arguing.

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HE SAID: “Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, author

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SHE SAID: “It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.” Margaret Thatcher, British statesman

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