Springfield, FL---Call it a very interesting match up set for Tommy Oliver Friday night. The schedule reads Escambia at Rutheford, but you could say it's kind of like Ram vs. Ram in this game that is serving as our Personal Attention Dental Care game of the Week.
When we say that, we're talking about the ties the two team's coaches share. And in fact the bond between Rutherford head coach Alvin Dempsey and Escambia head coach Willie Spears runs deeper than a shared occupation!
"Spears and I basically grew up together." says coach Dempsey. "Our old neighborhood, our parents worked together for years in different places. It's, I know Spears like I know my own brother."
"I love Rutherford High School," coach Spears says "my wife went to Rutherford High School. She was the homecoming queen in 1994. We both went there, graduated from there. We schedule the game on purpose because I want to be able to come back home and be in Panama City at least a couple weekends a year."
Two former Rams, one leading his alma mater, the other opposing it.
Says Spears "Alvin Dempsey is definitely the right guy for the job. You look at how it was turned around in 1990-91 by coach Hardin. Alvin Dempsey was a big part of that. So to have him come back is exciting for me as a alum and fan of Rutherford."
Dempsey is quick to return the praise. "Spears is one of those guys, he's upbeat. He has a great personality. He and I we always go at it, we've been rivals over life."
While a proud alum, Spears' allegiances will be long gone when his Gators get to work Friday night.
"Even if my mother showed up with black and gold on, she'd have to get it that night. Then when the game was over we can hug and kiss. I love seeing the black and gold, I love seeing the same traditions that we had when I was there, but they have a great team. And we really feel it's an even match and hopefully we can come out victorious."
Getting that win won't be easy, not with the black and gold starved for their first "W" in 2013.
"Those guys are hungry." says Dempsey. "They've been working hard, and went up against two great opponents in Niceville and East Gadsden, very talented teams. We're where we want to be peaking wise towards the season. And those guys are hungry this week, they've been working their butts off trying to get it in. They really want one this week."
That game at Tommy Oliver set for a 7 o'clock kickoff, it will be one of several games we'll feature on Friday Night Overtime!