LEE COUNTY, Fla. – In week No. 1 of the high school football season, an old rivalry will be renewed.
For the first time in seven years, Cypress Lake will host South Fort Myers, two schools separated by just four miles. Smack in between those two schools on Daniels Parkway is Glory Days Grill.
“You always had those rivals that every once in a while they fall off your schedule for whatever reason, and when they told me it was the first time in seven years, the first thing I said was, ‘I got to get a trophy made,'” said Jake Leventhal, the managing partner of Glory Days Grill, or as his team calls him, the head coach.
“We are infamously known for our chicken wings, so what better than the battle for the chicken wing trophy with two local high schools. These schools aren’t just our partners. They aren’t just our neighbors. They are our friends, and we are excited to be a part of this promoting student athletes in the community,” said Leventhal.
For the student athletes, it is encouraging to see local businesses show their support and want to help.
“It means a lot when you have support from Glory Days, a big organization. It drives you and it motivates you, especially when they’re giving out scholarships. It makes you want to go harder,” said Quincy Milhomme a senior wide receiver and defensive back at South Fort Myers.
With this week being the first regular season game, of course the players are excited, but when you add a trophy to the mix, it makes it that much more fun.
“It just gives us more of a motivation. We’re gonna come out with the same hype anyway, but that trophy is a little bit of extra motivation,” said Cypress Lake senior quarterback, CJ Shedd.
“Everyone wants to fill up their trophy cabinet so the first week of the season to have a trophy game the kids will get excited about that and a chicken wing trophy at that — doesn’t get much better,” said Chris Harris, the athletic director at South Fort Myers and one of the driving forces in making this partnership between Glory Days and the rivalry.
An added punch to the rivalry is the fact that many of the players grew up playing with each other in Pop Warner for the Cypress Lake Hornets.
“It’s pretty fun. I know a lot of the cats over at Cypress. I played with Coby when I younger and went to middle school with CJ,” said South senior linebacker Tzion Hamilton.
“It will be fun to play against them again, but I did play with them in Pop Warner when I first came down here. It’ll be a very nice game,” said Kyrie Savoy, a junior wide out for Cypress Lake.
“They all grew up together, they know each other, they are all from the south zone. You get that general rivalry. We are bringing back an old rivalry that hasn’t been played in a while. When you add a little spark to it, it adds a little fun to it. I think it brings people to the game… I hope he brings people to his restaurant,” said Cypress Lake head coach Richie Rode.
The first ever Glory Days Bowl kicks off at Cypress Lake High School on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
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