In the heart of the White Mountains of Arizona, where the wide-open spaces stretched far and wide beneath the warm summer sun, there existed a cherished football rivalry. It was the Snowflake Lobos versus the Show Low Cougars, a rivalry that ran deep within the fabric of these rural communities. In these remote areas, Friday night football was a celebrated tradition, where the roar of the crowd surpassed the excitement of any big city stadium.
Just 25 minutes apart, the two schools of Snowflake and Show Low shared a storied history that was etched in the minds and hearts of generations. The stadium, surrounded by vast expanses rolling hills, stood as a battleground where dreams were made and broken. On this particular night, it was sold out, overflowing with devoted fans who stood shoulder to shoulder in standing-room-only sections, their enthusiasm palpable in the warm evening air.
But this night was not just about football; it was a celebration and remembrance of the September 11th attack on the United States, a solemn occasion to honor those who protect these rural communities. The Snowflake Lobos had a special tribute. Instead of their team name on the back of their football jerseys, they proudly wore “Never Forget,” a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by first responders and servicemen and women.
The game began with both teams locked in a fierce battle. Show Low, daring and unyielding, matched Snowflake’s first attack with an impressive 2-point conversion, taking an early lead at 8 to 7. The Cougar faithful roared with delight, believing this might be their night.
But then, like a tempest rolling across the open plains, the Snowflake Lobos’ high-powered offense took center stage. They surged forward, scoring 55 points by the end of the night, their speed and precision unmatched. The fans clad in Lobos’ blue and white erupted into cheers that echoed through the plains.
Not to be outdone, the Snowflake defense equally stepped up. With the ferocity of a pack of hungry wolves, they matched the offense’s energy and determination. Intercepting passes, forcing fumbles, and shutting down the Show Low Cougars at every turn, they left no doubt that this was their night to shine.
The rivalry between these two schools was steeped in history, dating back to the days when students from Show Low attended Snowflake before their own high school was built in 1974. Both teams had tasted the glory of State championships, but on this night, it was about more than just a title; it was about pride and legacy.
As the clock wound down and the final whistle blew, it was clear that the Snowflake Lobos had once again prevailed. The scoreboard told the tale, and the final score (55-17) stood as a testament to their dominance. The Snowflake Lobos had won, extending their winning streak against the Show Low Cougars to an impressive six games.
In the warmth of the summer evening, where the stars shone brightly overhead and the desert breeze whispered tales of victory, the Snowflake community celebrated their triumph and remembered the sacrifices of 9/11. The Show Low faithful vowed to come back stronger next time, their hearts full of respect for their rivals and the shared spirit of honoring those who protect their rural communities. The rivalry lived on, as fierce and passionate as ever, a tradition that bound these communities together in the spirit of Friday night football and remembrance.
Jonathan Austen Special to Mountain Daily Star
Pictures by Jonathan Austen https://jonathanausten.com/