It’s kind of a shame that TSSAA has realigned sports teams for next school year.
South Side has developed a nice rivalry with South Gibson over the last couple years, particularly in girls’ sports.
The Lady Hawks and Lady Hornets played four times in basketball in January and February with South Side winning all four games. The final game in that series – the Region 7-AAA championship in Henderson (that was the game that started at Chester County High School and ended at Freed-Hardeman University – had the most lopsided final score of the matchups between the two.
But the first game between them was South Side’s closest game in the Lady Hawks’ undefeated season.
Monday’s district championship game at South Gibson’s field in Medina showed the rivalry isn’t one that’s developed in just the basketball gym.
More fans than usual showed up from South Gibson for that game.
And South Side enjoyed the most fans it’s had for a game all season as well.
The crowd was treated to a great defensive battle between a pair of talented teams in which neither team was giving an inch in the field to the other.
It was a fun game to watch.
It probably would’ve been a fun game to watch if only parents were there to watch, but having a few hundred people (I don’t want to estimate on a number because I’m horrible at estimating if I don’t do an actual head count) added to the experience.
One side of the stadium is cheering for a strike. The other side cheers loudly on the next pitch that’s a ball.
One side gets loud briefly for a big hit off the bat that goes long into the outfield, and the other side gets even louder when the player from their school makes the out with the catch.
Then you get the situation in which South Gibson is 60 feet away from tying the game and forcing South Side to bat in the bottom of the seventh, and the drama ramps up even more.
Both schools have enjoyed a fair amount of success in sports over the past decade – particularly on the girls’ side.
South Gibson’s girls’ soccer team has made it to Murfreesboro multiple times for the state tournament. South Side has a strong volleyball tradition in which they’ve made it there as well.
Both basketball teams were at the state tournament this past March, and we were a South Gibson semifinal win away from watching a fifth game between them in the state title game.
Both softball programs have been to Spring Fling in recent years as well.
So it shouldn’t be a shock to see a close game that comes down to the final at-bat when these two teams are on the same field playing for a championship.
And at the risk of jinxing both teams, we could potentially see another game between them on Wednesday if they both win their region semifinal games on Monday.
There’s been no indication from either school or their coaches if any of these teams continue to play each other next year because South Gibson will move into a district that’s more in northwest Tennessee, while South Side will move into a more familiar district with schools like Lexington and Hardin County.
So in case they don’t play each other anymore after this year, fans should appreciate what we’ve seen these last couple of years in the competitive games we’ve gotten to watch.
Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.