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Fox Creek, Augusta Christian will Battle for the Paddle

Posted: September 13, 2012 - 2:03pm
Fox Creek High School head football coach Russ Schneider (left) and Augusta Christian Schools head football coach Keith Walton (right) hold the coveted paddle. Schneider and Walton played football together at Augusta Christian.  SPECIAL
Fox Creek High School head football coach Russ Schneider (left) and Augusta Christian Schools head football coach Keith Walton (right) hold the coveted paddle. Schneider and Walton played football together at Augusta Christian. SPECIAL

Fox Creek High School is looking to bring home a boat paddle after tonight’s game against Augusta Christian Schools.

The two schools began a friendly rivalry called Battle for the Paddle six years ago, said Fox Creek athletic director and head football coach Russ Schneider, who graduated from Augusta Christian in 1991.

“When we were trying to come up with what symbol to play for, we came up with the paddle because of the river,” he said.

The paddle is a regular size boat paddle and the scores from each game between the teams are written on it.

The teams have played each other four times in the last six years and Augusta Christian walked away with the win, and the paddle, each of those times.

They weren’t able to meet the last two years due to schedules, but this year, the competition is back on and the Predators are looking to win.

“We’d like to get the paddle over here to Carolina,” Schneider said.

The game is also a friendly rivalry between coaches, he added.

“The coach and I are really good friends,” he said. “We call each other during the season and we keep in contact.”

Schneider and Keith Walton, the head football coach at Augusta Christian, were teammates at Augusta Christian. Schneider was the team’s fullback and Walton was the tailback.

So returning to the place the two once played together holds a special meaning, Schneider said.

“It means a lot to me personally because I still have a love for the school and the people there,” he said. “It’s neat to go back to the field I played on.”

The matchup also gets the Predators ready to start region play, which kicks off next week against Ridge-Spring Monetta High School.

“Our goal is playing a hard team before we go into our region,” he said. “Instead of playing somebody that’s not as good, we want to go in and play a tough game so when we go into the region, it won’t seem quite as tough.”

As for which team will come out on top and with the bragging rights, it’s a matter of who will make the least mistakes, he said.

“Their offense is really good and our offense is starting to come around,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the team who goes out there and is the most physical. That’s one plus with us. Our kids this year are really physical. I would describe Augusta Christian (with) more finesse. It’s going to be a good game.”

The game will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Augusta Christian, 313 Baston Road, Martinez. The game will be televised on Comcast 380 and Knology 246.

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