Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Thursday night at Carson Park will be the 55th meeting on the football field between Eau Claire North and Eau Claire Memorial.
A whole lot of players who've been part of this game over the years, and News 18 Sports Director caught up with a few guys to talk about what it meant then....and what it means now.
"It was intense, you always wanted to win," says 1970 Memorial grad Gregg Bohlig, "and obviously you didn't want to lose to kids from your home town, but it was actually a pretty friendly game, but it was magical, nothing like high school football."
"You know, you get there on a Friday night. and particularly this Thursday night," says 1975 North grad Mark Faanes, "and look at that game and say, I remember that, I could still do that, I would still enjoy that, and if not playing the game, be part of the locker room, be part of that atmosphere, there's nothing better."
"Absolutely it's a fall event," says 1993 Memorial grad Steve Winters, "the interesting thing is as a child, I remember going down to Carson Park on a yearly basis, and seeing how lit up Carson Park was, and then getting a chance to actually play in that big game, it was obviously an honor to do, it is kind of a special thing now, looking back as a teacher in the district, being able to see former students who are now on both sides, for both North and for Memorial."
"The thing I remember the most is going to games as a kid and watching Mike LaBarbera play," says 2005 Memorial grad Colin Boone, "watching Memorial games all the way through there, and thinking to myself, that's what I really wanted to do is play in a North-Memorial game, to me, as a kid here, that was the biggest thing around, that was what you wanted to be able to do, it's talked about around town all the time, and it's something that's pretty special to be able to have experienced."
Back to the present...as always, bragging rights will be on the line at Carson Park, but there's more. Memorial can reach the WIAA playoffs for a fourth straight year with a win Thursday night over North.
"We know they're going to be trying to come after us really hard to ruin our year," says Memorial senior running back Aaron Faacks, "and we're going to be going hard to try to keep our year going, so it's going to be a great game, I think."
"We're going to play as hard as we always played throughout the whole entire season, see what the outcome is at the end of the game," says North senior wide receiver Anthony Miloszewicz, "it'd be really nice to end on a high note and beat Memorial."
Join News 18 Sports Thursday, as we'll be live from Carson Park at both 5:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M., plus, we'll have a complete postgame wrapup at 10:00 P.M. on Sports Overtime.
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