When the time comes to upgrade something, anything, the concept is to get a bigger and better version of what was had before.
In the arena of Kingman area high school sports, we've moved from games against county rivals Lake Havasu, Mohave and Bullhead City MALC and upgraded to crosstown games between Kingman Academy, Kingman and Lee Williams high schools. Well, there is one exception the upgrade couldn't capture. It will always be nice to beat Havasu, and it won't matter who does it.
We got a sprinkle from our upgrade during the fall seasons. The three local schools raced against each other in cross country, KAHS played LWHS in football, and KAHS faced KHS in volleyball. But Monday it is going to pour. It is when the upgrade shows how exciting the crosstown games will be and there is ample opportunity to be a part of it. They'll be patches to the upgrade in the future as Lee Williams continues to grow, but we're in for a treat now.
It starts at 5 p.m. when the Volunteers host a wrestling tri-meet with KHS and Flagstaff Northland Prep. LWHS begins the night against Northland, then KHS grapples Northland, and the finale is the Vols versus the Bulldogs.
Across town you have a choice of which basketball floor to visit. You can head over to the intimate confines of the Betty Rowe Gymnasium at KAHS and watch the Bulldogs visit the Tigers in boys basketball, or you can go to KHS and watch the Lady Tigers take on the Lady Bulldogs. Both games start at 7 p.m.
Not everyone involved will be quick to say these are the biggest games on the schedule. But anything short of a state championship will lead to the following quote: "We may not have won state, but we beat (insert school name here) and (insert school name here)." And that, my friends, is why Monday will play a historic role for our city.
It will prove historic because the crosstown mystique between high schools never goes away. Thinking about this night caused me to take a little trip down memory lane.
As a lad in Bayonne, N.J., where I lived until I completed the fourth grade, there was a crosstown rivalry between the Bayonne High Bees and the Marist Royal Knights. It was a classic fight for supremacy between a public high school, Bayonne, and a private school, Marist.
I don't know if they still do it this way, but the annual football game between them was held on the Thanksgiving weekend and televised. My understanding of football was limited in those days, but what I do remember was rooting for the Bees even though I lived closer to Marist.
I got to wondering how that rivalry stands today, so I did a Google search. I found an article from January by Patrick Villanova with The Jersey Journal. The Bees and Royal Knights were ready to tip-off in boys basketball. Mickell Taylor, the Bayonne coach, was quoted as saying "it's a battle of the city." Yes, the Battle for Bayonne is still alive and well.
My memories go back 40 years, and I'm certain someone here will remember in 40 years the emergence of the crosstown battles in Kingman. By then, the upgrade will be complete.