Stacey remembers rivalry

Friday, September 16, 2011
Forrest head coach Kyle Stacey would rather be at Preston Hopkins Field this Friday for "Stink City Week" versus Giles County, but the Forrest coach will be over at Mt. Pleasant, scouting the Cornersville Bulldogs. Tribune photos

Forrest head coach Kyle Stacey and his Rockets (3-1, 1-0) are off this week, but not really as the FHS coaching crew will be at Mt. Pleasant on a scouting mission for next week's opponent, the Cornersville Bulldogs.

Stacey, a wideout for the MCHS Tigers from 1984-1987 would rather be part of "Stink City Week."

"I remember all the coaches would come in Monday morning and would come out and be sniffing around," said Stacey. "Then everyone would start screaming and hollering stink city week, stink city week."

What they were talking about was the storied rivalry between the Tigers (2-1, 1-0) and the Giles County Bobcats (3-1, 2-0) that will continue this Friday night, under the lights at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg at 7:00 p.m.

"I was hoping Cornersville was playing at home this week, so I could have gone and seen one half in Cornersville and one half in Lewisburg," Stacey smiled and said.

Since 1979, the Tigers have a 20-12 winning record over Giles County, but have lost the last five in a row in a rivalry that dates back a half century.

In his four years on a Tigers' team that compiled a 45-5 record, including a state title in his sophomore season, Stacey never lost to the Bobcats and gave the legendary former Tiger head football coach Bob Edens credit for preparing the ballclub to play.

Stacey said, "Coach Edens developed this, we had a mentality of whenever we went out on the field, it didn't make a difference of who we were playing, we were going to win, we were expected to win, and that was just the way it was."

"But", Stacey smiled and said, "On stink city week, the players get pumped about it, get excited about, the practices are a whole lot more intense and more upbeat that week, and the butterflies are flying a little more that night."

The Tigers, coming off a spirited loss to defending state champs Columbia Central, hope to bounce back this week versus Bobcats, ranked number four in the 4A AP Poll.

"I think they have a good chance of winning this week," said Stacey. "I would not put anything past Coach Turchetta, he does a good job and prepares the kids really well and when they hit the field, especially Giles County/Lewisburg, anything can happen."

Stacey added, "It will be dog eat dog, Lewisburg has some real talent over there and I give them a real good shot."

Cornersville's Cody Blackburn (44), Jessie Gower (58), and the rest of the Bulldog defense will have to step up against Mt. Pleasant on Friday night.

Back at Mt. Pleasant (1-3, 0-1), Stacey will be scouting a Bulldog team that played their hearts out last week in a 28-26 loss at Huntland.

Cornersville (0-3, 0-1) has begun to get some things churning on offense, especially running back Noah Rubbo, who scored two touchdowns, while rushing for 186 yards on 24 carries last week versus the Hornets.

This week, the Bulldogs get win number one when they pull out a 24-23 win over the Tigers from Maury County.