By CLINT FOSTER
As far as rivalries go in Palo Pinto County, it just doesn’t get much bigger than Gordon and Strawn.
Sure, there are other big local rivalries – Santo and Perrin-Whitt come to mind – but based on proximity, importance and sheer competitiveness, nothing comes close to when the Longhorns and Greyhounds meet annually to do battle on the gridiron.
Last year, it was the Gordon Longhorns who walked away victorious, 36-34. Now tonight, with another year passed, the black and gold will look to overcome their youth and slow start (1-2) to notch a third-straight win against Strawn (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. in Greyhound Stadium. It is the latest chapter in a series that has been nothing short of epic.
Although it is true that the Longhorns have a sub-.500 record after the first four weeks of the season, it’s not exactly something they can be faulted for. Two of Gordon’s first three games were against defending state champions – Dallas The Covenant, who won the DI-2 6M TAPPS State Championship with a 13-1 record, and Stephenville Faith, who won the DII-1 6M TCAL State Championship at 12-0 – and the ‘Horns lone win came against Faith in a 50-6 beatdown.
But tough non-district schedules aside, head coach Joe Kostiha said Gordon’s biggest obstacle this season has been its youth. Going into this year, the ‘Horns only had two players – Brandon Gonzales and Jacob Wigington – that had ever played in a varsity football game.
“Early in the year, we went through some growing pains and its tough when you play such good competition,” Kostiha said. “It’s just kind of tough with such young guys. You’d like to get some games under their belt before you start facing all this tough competition. But it’s good for us too; it’s a good test for us. We’ve gotten better.”