Hammer, bell, bowl, bulls, roses and more. Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discus the numerous rivalry games taking place across the valley in this week's slate of high school football games.
Jordan Gallegos first attended the Henderson Bowl when he was just 5 years old.
The annual high school football game between Basic and Green Valley, which many feel has become Nevada’s greatest prep rivalry, is Friday night. There’s no need to remind Gallegos, Basic’s senior safety and wide receiver, of its importance.
That’s something he learned at a young age, whether it was in the stands with his family or following his dad, Wolf Pack assistant coach David Gallegos, around the sideline as the ball boy. His mom is a Basic graduate and former multisport standout, and his uncle and aunt each also played sports for the school.
“This is the most important game of the season,” Jordan Gallegos said. “There is so much history. I really feel it is one of best rivalries in all of America. Just the amount of people who show up and the talent on both sides of the ball.”
The game, regardless of where each team sits in the standings, seems to always be close. There’s only been a handful of blowouts in more than two decades of the rivalry. Basic opened in the 1940s and was Henderson’s lone high school until Green Valley came along in 1991 to create a natural rivalry.
“Every game comes down to the fourth quarter. It’s always competitive,” said Basic coach Jeff Cahill, who played in the first Henderson Bowl, a Basic victory. “It’s seems like we are always playing for something more, playoffs or winning the division.”
Green Valley leads the all-time series 16-10, but Basic has won the past two meetings — including 35-7 last year. That fact doesn’t sit well at Green Valley.
“I know there are other rivalry games that have gone on longer, but I don’t know if there are any that are as intense as ours is against those guys,” Green Valley coach Brian Castro said.
The Gators’ Eric Brown has played twice in the Henderson Bowl — both Green Valley defeats. That means Friday is his final attempt to hoist the Henderson Bowl trophy over his head in celebration with teammates.
“It is the trophy. It sits in the endzone and the whole game you look at it,” Brown said. “It makes you realize how important the game is.”
Green Valley enters with a 5-1 record and is coming off a 49-0 victory against Silverado. When Basic (3-3) played Silverado, it barely escaped with a win on the game’s last play.
But last week Basic played its best game of the season in a 45-22 win against Coronado, and sophomore quarterback Paul Myro completed 15-of-17 passes.
Not that previous results matter. Both Cahill and Castro, two veteran coaches in the series, are preparing to receive each others’ best efforts.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Green Valley.