LINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Linton and Sullivan football have a storied rivalry and the competition on the field is fierce. But on the sidelines, there's a lot of respect between opposing coaches.
They've both been a part of this rivalry, and know how important it is.
"Just talking about it," said Sullivan coach Blaine Powell, "the hair still stands up on the back of my neck."
Powell has been on both sides of this rivalry. He was a quarterback for the Miners when he played high school ball. Powell would go on to become an assistant coach at Linton. But these days, he leads the Golden Arrows into battle.
"He's still an alumni guy here," Linton coach Brian Oliver said. "He just went over to the other side."
Oliver will be lined up across from Powell on Friday night, but these two know each other well.
"I've known him since he was a little kid," Powell said. "I coached him. I coached with him. He's a standup guy and I've got a lot of respect for him."
Blaine Powell was the quarterbacks coach at Linton and, during that tenure, Brian Oliver was under center for the Miners.
"When he played, he was one of those guys that played with a lot of heart," Powell said of Oliver. "He played with a lot of desire. And he coaches that way. And his kids play that way."
"He actually got me into coaching," Oliver admitted. "My senior year of high school, he got me coaching some junior high football in the spring. He had me calling offense then. And I was hooked from then on."
Now Oliver coaches against the guy who ignited his passion.
"I've learned some stuff from him, so just going out there and playing against him is always interesting." Oliver said. "Seeing him on the other side, wearing the purple. I still want to beat him."
These two are friends off the field, but they're not talking much this week.
Linton and Sullivan will face off Friday night at 7 p.m. at Sullivan High School.
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