Nighthawks Tackle Summit in Rekindled Rivalry

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Kellan Raterman, Sports Co-Editor

Rivalry games are the most competitive and memorable games in a team’s season. Since 1973, Cincinnati Country Day School and Summit Country Day School have competed in football and have played a total of 48 varsity football games. The first varsity football game between the two teams was played at Country Day in 1974 and they won 34-0.  

Former Summit Knight player and current Country Day employee, Tom Powers, explained,  “I still think about the loss my senior year to Country Day.  I have the game film. I still watch it and it still makes me mad 49 years later.”  

The tension and competitiveness of this rivalry started in the 70s and continues to hold up today.

Four years ago, CCDS did not know whether or not they would have a football team in the future. A season with 15 players and only six games was not a high point in the historic program. With the hiring of Dennis Coyle as athletic director and head coach of the Nighthawks football team in 2019, the program has climbed in numbers in the last two years; last year the team finished with a record of 7-3 as Miami Valley Conference Gray Champions.  

Coach Coyle has done a outstanding job at changing the culture of the football program specifically and the athletics program in general in the past three years. Coach Coyle stated that “the mascot change and the new stadium project” were two achievements that he is proud of since his tenure as athletic director. “These changes to the athletics program create more unity as we all look like one, and it brings the community together with the new stadium.”

Rivalry games are meant to be games that you circle on the calendar as must-wins. There is plenty of history behind the Country Day and Summit rivalry and it seems each team plays a little harder in this game than they would against any other team.  

Coach Coyle has been a part of many rivalry games as a player and coach and when asked he said, “The importance for me is that the kids to have that experience.” Coach Powers added that “you have lots of good memories in sports but you never forget the rivalry games.”

As the 49th matchup approaches, Coach Coyle stated, “At the end of the day I want to prepare our team so we go out and play with class and integrity and get back to our winning ways.”

Although Country Day has the better all-time record in the series, Summit has won the last five matchups. The winner of this game gets bragging rights of being “the real country day” and in preparation for this game Coach Coyle stated that “We are the REAL Country Day and we are the ones who are supposed to win this game.”

The last time CCDS won was in 2015, and in the last few years the rivalry has lost some of its competitiveness but the game tonight is sure to return to high energy matchups of old.