BARNESVILLE, Minn. - Friday night we are treated to one of the best high school football rivalries in the area as Barnesville and Hawley renew acquaintances.
There is still no love lost between the Nuggets and Trojans.
"The intensity of the game is just another level," Trojans sophomore quarterback Adam Tonsfeldt said.
"It's a little more physical because we want to hit people harder too," Nuggets Gunnar Lawson said when referring to the intensity between Hawley and Barnesville when they play each other.
This anticipation of this game has been building for almost an entire year. The Trojans knocked off Hawley last year in the section championship 29-22 and it hasn't sat well with Hawley.
"Everyone has had this marked on their calendar as the next time we will play Barnesville and I think we are ready to go," Lawson stated.
"I went down with an injury that game and it hurt really bad," Nuggets senior quarterback Jacob Vetter said. "Every time I was in therapy and in the weight room I was thinking about that game you know and coming back stronger."
Both teams are peaking at the right time. Barnesville and Hawley entered the season without their starting quarterbacks. The Trojans Adam Tonsfeldt and the Nuggets Jacob Vetter have recovered and are full go.
"We are definitely getting back to full strength. We have a few dings and dunks, but we feel are team is coming around and we are getting a lot stronger," Tonsfeldt said.
While bragging rights are on the line, this isn't an end all be all. Five of the last six times in the postseason the Trojans and Nuggets have clashed and even the coaches know they'll likely see each other again.
"I think that everybody around has a pretty good sense that it will happen," Hawley head football coach Peder Naatz said. "It doesn't mean its going to barring a catastrophe for either school."
"Even if we lose this game I don't really care and I didn't care last year. It mattered because it was the home streak that ruined," Barnesville head coach Bryan Strand explained. "After that game I told them we are going to play them again and we will beat them."
This is the second year they will play for Lee's Paddle. The trophy commerates longtime assistant Nuggets head coach Lee Eklund who passed away in 2017.