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Fox Creek loses battle for paddle

Posted: September 17, 2012 - 7:54pm
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Fox Creek High School football coach Russ Schneider (left) and Augusta Christian Schools coach Keith Walton (right) hold the coveted paddle.   SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Fox Creek High School football coach Russ Schneider (left) and Augusta Christian Schools coach Keith Walton (right) hold the coveted paddle.

Fox Creek High School will have to wait another year for a chance to bring home the ceremonial paddle after a 38-20 loss Thursday to Augusta Christian.

The two schools began a friendly rivalry called the Battle for the Paddle six years ago, said Fox Creek 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 didn’t meet the last two years, but in the five previous matchups, Augusta Christian has always walked away with the win.

This year’s game was also a friendly rivalry between coaches.

“The coach and I are really good friends,” Schneider 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 held 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 prepared the Predators to start region play, which kicks off Friday at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School at
7:30 p.m.

“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.”

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