Rivalry football is the real deal in the small Oregon towns of Vale & Nyssa. These two communities are united by sport. Local dentist Dr. Munk and Nyssa Head Coach Lee Long, come together to make this game more memorable.
It's kind of your traditional small-town rivalry. We are both towns that shut down and clear out for the rivalry game.
I’m Lee Long, I'm the head football coach for Nyssa High School.
We've officially titled it the Black and Blue Bowl. When two communities come together you have the game and we have all of the Nyssa fans dressing in blue and the Vale folks dressing in black.
It’s the same shirt with the slogan on it: “Two communities united by sport”.
I’m Dr. Munk I am a dentist here in Nyssa. I graduated from Vail high school but I am a resident here in Nyssa and now myself and the Nyssa high school football coach Mr. Long created the bowl.
Every bowl has to have a trophy, right, because you want to be able to have some pride and some kind of reward for that.
Here in Vale and Nyssa, the Oregon Trail runs right through both towns and so that's an integral part of the history of our communities. Since it connects us I thought the wagon wheel would be a great symbol of that of that tie between our communities because we work together even though we are rivals and we fight against each other.
We come together for the same purpose and that is to build strong, successful kids. That's what we're trying to do in these schools.
The rivalry, the last two years, has been a one-score game. It's not the first time in the history of the rivalry it's been a one score game. We've actually played each other for the conference championship multiple seasons and also in the state championship before so both towns have very successful football programs.
We are very well supported. The communities are so close that they spill over into each community in terms of family and just relations. It's pretty deep, it's pretty fun.
The whole town kind of comes out to it, not just those who are playing or families of those that are playing, the town goes because it's a big community event.
These kinds of rivalries make these kids try to play their best. It helps them strive to be the better version of themselves. So they come to this game pumped up ready to play. It's a lot of fun to see community members’ businesses all have that same school pride whether you hailed from Vale originally or from Nyssa. Everyone has picked sides and enjoys the game too.