Categorized | Andy Shupe, Sports

Battle of the Bulldogs

Luke Rapert (22) of Fayetteville bowls over Kenneth Lane (23) of Springdale Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, on his way to the end zone during the first half of play at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium in Springdale.

This year’s version of the Battle of the Bulldogs was lopsided as much as it was expected to be, but it was still not without its story lines. Former FHS standout and assistant coach Zak Clark is now the head coach for Springdale and was facing his alma mater for the first time. The Purple Bulldogs are nationally ranked while Springdale is beginning the rebuilding process after many years of struggle.

When I moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1993, Springdale was just a few years removed from a state championship in 1989 and was ranked highly in the state. After a few brief average years, it was on top of the world in 2005 with National Player of the Year Mitch Mustain and the now infamous Springdale Five. Throughout this period, the Red Bulldogs dominated Fayetteville, losing only in 1999 and 1993 in thrilling games. Even as Fayetteville began to catch up and compete with Springdale, it was always a great game whichever team won. Most kids at both schools don’t feel that their rival is a Bulldog. Har-Ber or Bentonville are probably more common choices for a rival if we asked the players, but I still enjoy the Battle of the Bulldogs.

About Andy Shupe

Andy Shupe was born at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., before moving to Berea, Ky., where he grew up. After graduating from Berea College with a degree in biology in 1993, Andy moved to Fayetteville and began working for the Northwest Arkansas Times as a clever ploy to enable him to see his beloved Kentucky Wildcats play basketball. In addition to photography, Andy enjoys baseball, working on old cars and marveling at how old that makes him sound.