It’s just another Friday night for the players in the North vs South rivalry

Adam Tremblay, Sports Editor

The rivalry between Lakeville North and Lakeville South football may seem like a big deal to the fans, but to the North players it’s a typical Friday night.  
 
“For the kids it’s just another game,”  Panthers head coach Brian Vossen said.  
 
North has started 4-0 and they’re looking to be able to win their fifth in a row against their crosstown rivals. “We just have to keep doing what we do,” said senior offensive lineman Ryan Melin. “We just want to be the top team in Lakeville.” 
 
And they have been that top team for the last three years, winning all three of their past matchups. When the schools split in 2005, South had the upper hand to start, but recently the Panthers have taken over the series and lead it 8-6.  
 
In order to keep up that success both Melin and Vossen say they need to stop the run game and get the ball into star halfback, Wade Sullivan’s, hands like they always do.  
 
“It’s always a pretty good fight,” Melin said.  
 
Another reason for the rivalry being so relevant today, in Vossen’s opinion, is the community that Lakeville has. “We have a great community for football,” he says. And the community is expected to show their support at Friday’s game, as the bleachers are predicted to be filled with fans.  Although it may seem like the players would get nervous, Vossen knows how to keep them calm.
 
“Nothing needs to be said, we will just tell them(his players) to have fun and enjoy the crowd,” said Vossen about what he would say to his players before the game. “Don’t let the excitement of the game get bigger than the fact that it’s just a football game.” 
As North looks to be 5-0, Lakeville South looks to bounce back from a 2-3 start. Both Vossen and Melin have faith in their teams, and both the player and the coach predict a win for North.
“I think this is a winnable game and one that we will win,” Vossen said.