MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Mechanicville High School will host Stillwater in the annual Indian Bowl on Friday.
The Two Class C rivals, just five minutes down Route 4 from one another, make up one of the biggest rivalries in Section II. The winner clinches a playoff berth amongst other things.
The trophy’s been at Mechanicville 18 of the last 26 years, including the last two.
“Having it the last two years, we’re hoping to make it a third,” Mechanicville sophomore quarterback and free safety Dan Motta said.
But Stillwater would like to change that. They want the feeling of a win again.
“It’s amazing, yeah,” Stillwater senior Hunter Zuzick said. “I haven’t felt it since I was a freshman. I want to feel it again.”
Two guys getting their first taste of the Indian Bowl are both head coaches.
“What was told is don’t lose the game,” Mechanicville head coach Erick Smith said about the interview process.
“A lot of the first questions we get: How’s the team gonna be? How you guys looking? What’s your chances against Mechanicville?” Stillwater head coach Ian Godfrey said. “Everybody wants to know that question.”
Being a senior in the rivalry, Warriors playmaker Ezra Echeandia has experienced success and defeat.
“Winning, it is everything,” he said. “Seeing the Indian Bowl come back to where it belongs is great, but losing it is not something nice.”
And it follows you for a long time. Sean Kennedy coaches at Mechanicville but used to play for Stillwater.
“I still get asked if I go down to Price Chopper, Stewart’s, ‘Hey, you remember in 2006 when [Mechanicville] beat ya?’” he said. “And I always encounter with, ‘Hey, remember in 2005 when Stillwater kind of pulled the big upset?’”
But realistically, it’s just another game, right?
“It just carries a lot more weight than other ones,” Smith said.
“Both of us have the same amount to gain and the same amount to lose,” Godfrey said.
Like the bowl itself, bragging rights, a guaranteed spot in the playoffs and potentially knocking your rival out of the postseason.
“Hey, any time you can beat Stillwater, it’s a good day,” Kennedy said.