Fruita-Junction: Football rivalery
Every team has one game that’s a little more important to win than the rest.
In the Grand Valley, that game is Fruita Monument vs. Grand Junction. Central is another rivalry game for each school, but Fruita and Grand Junction have been battling for valley dominance for 70 years.
In football, the rivalry is as intense as ever, with Fruita coming off last year’s 18-14 thriller when Wildcats quarterback Brett Nankervis connected with Scott Miller for a touchdown with less than one minute to play.
Nankervis and Miller have graduated and the personnel on the field changes every year.
The fire to win the game, though, remains the same.
The Daily Sentinel asked players and coaches to describe the Grand Junction-Fruita Monument rivalry.
“It’s big, we beat them last year, so they’ll want revenge. I think it’s the best rivalry in the valley, Central is right up there, but Junction’s the No. 1 game we don’t want to lose.” — AJ Meil, senior linebacker, Fruita Monument
“During the other sports everyone chants ‘wait ’til football,’ so if we take this game here, we start it off right and set the tempo for all the other teams.” — Twon Martin, senior lineman, Fruita Monument
“Walking around the school everyone’s saying good luck and to have fun, and that stuff just pumps me up. Junction-Fruita is the biggest thing and it’s going to be fun.” — Zach Thorpe, sophomore quarterback, Fruita Monument
“ There will be a lot of fans there and I’m excited to see who will come out on top, plus there’s a lot riding on this game. It’s not only the conference season opener, but the biggest rivalry in town.” — Andy Willett, junior quarterback, Grand Junction
“For me it’s a rivalry that’s been going on since 5th grade. Last year the game came down to one play and they beat us, so we are going into a battle ready to fight this year.” — Chandon Rose, sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Grand Junction
“There is a lot of tension at the game. We have a lot of tradition with them, and we know it will be a good time when we play them.” — Stuart Shrum, senior defensive back, Grand Junction
“I think it’s always exciting to play people you know. We know Fruita doesn’t get along with Junction, so our kids are excited. Even today when we were going through their roster, we know the kids, so there is a familiarity there.” — Robbie Owens, Grand Junction coach