DOVER, Del– The Sussex Tech High School Football program will try to reach 3-0 in their home opener against the Laurel Bulldogs on Friday, Sept. 25.
The Sussex Tech Ravens, Division 1, and the Laurel Bulldogs, Division 2, have not played each other since 2012.
Only a few now seniors were able to participate in the matchup three years ago when the Bulldogs beat the Ravens at home by ten points.
“We have a lot of focus on this game and a lot of preparation to keep our mental and physical tasks on point,” Sussex Tech senior quarterback Justin Hill said.
Both sides are anxious to square off for the first time in years.
“It is a big rivalry for our community,” Laurel Head Coach Glenn Phillips Jr. said. “Our community backs our football program and we have people in our community that get to play at Sussex Tech. But [for] the loyal Bulldogs, its a big rival.”
Before Phillips’ time as head coach, many players transferred to Sussex Tech in hopes of a better football career.
“We have the Battle of route 9,” Sussex Tech Head Coach Mark Quillin said. ” We have a lot of our players here from the Laurel school district.. There is a little bit of a rivalry there between those kids.”
Coach Phillips isn’t upset about the students that left Laurel. In fact, he said since he has been head coach they haven’t lost much depth.
“We’re going to play with our 53 guys that we have here and stayed loyal to their hometown,” Phillips said. “We’re going to go after it.”
Laurel made it to the Division 2 State title game in 2014 and Sussex Tech made it to the Division 1 State Semifinal game.
“They are two good teams,” Sussex Tech senior cornerback Timaun Williams said. “The programs are growing so you know we really have to step up since they made it to their state championship and we made it to the semifinals.”