Classic Rivals Face Off

by Siandhara Bonnet, Editor-in-Chief

It began in 1998 when the second high school was introduced into the district, and is still going strong today. The Crosstown Showdown featuring the Leander Lions (0-5) and the Cedar Park Timberwolves (3-2) is on October 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Bible Stadium. Both teams are coming off their bye week.

Although the Lions have a new rivalry with Rouse, the Cedar Park rivalry is a classic. The two cities are side by side and approximately equal in square millage, but differ in population since Cedar Park has about 20,000 more people, according to the city boundary signs.

“That is always how a rivalry gets started. One school is the original, and then another one opens up,” receptionist JoAnna Costarell said. “We will always be THE Leander High School, no matter how many schools open up.”

According to MaxPreps, for the past 10 years when the Battle of Bagdad occurred, the Lions have only won twice to Cedar Park’s seven wins with no ties. The Lions won the first game against Cedar Park in 2004 with a score of 49-20, but lost in the years that followed. The second time the Lions triumphed was in 2007. In 2006, however, the Lions’s loss to Cedar Park was a surprise and was the only loss of the Lions’s district champion season. This year, the boys plan to make it 3-7.

“In reality, I think this is going to be the most exciting game of the year,” junior running back Brandon Plummer said. “Records are meant to be broken.”

Outstanding players to watch for from the Timberwolves include senior running back Chris Hutchings who scored two touchdowns in the game against Georgetown with 136 yards rushing and a five-yard touchdown catch, and senior quarterback Amir Alzer who had 12 completions, a touchdown, and threw one interception in the game. Lions to keep watch for include juniors wide receiver Gabriel Sanchez and running back Raymond Gibson, who both played well in the previous game against Vandegrift.

At the Crosstown Showdown, instead of the football captains calling the coin toss, it will be the Mayors of both cities: Chris Fielder of Leander and Matt Powell of Cedar Park.

“The coin toss is the first face to face with the players – it’s fun to watch,” Costarell said. “The teams won’t have that initial tension to get things started.”

This game is also the annual Pink Out Game to support breast cancer survivors and bring awareness to the cause.