The Boise-Borah football rivalry was born Nov. 11, 1958. Borah won that game 19-13, setting in motion a rivalry that has waxed and waned for the past 54 years. Coaches, players and graduates are abuzz this week with renewed excitement as the two teams prepare for their first meeting at Dona Larsen Park.
The anticipation of Fridays 7 p.m. kickoff has brought back memories of what the rivalry was and thoughts of what it is today.
JERRY OMAHONY, BOISE QB (1976-78)
That was the biggest game of the year for us, no question, OMahony said.
After losing to the Lions as a junior, OMahony and his teammates broke an extended winless streak against their rivals with a 22-7 victory in 1977.
The biggest difference back in those times, that made rivalries so good, was at Bronco Stadium there would be (15,000) to 17,000 people, he said. Youd fill the stadium and it was generally Veterans Day, theyd have huge parades and the whole community would show up. The sides were always divided. It was clear. You were Boise or Borah. You werent somewhere in between. You were raised with that whole mentality.
OMahony is now the tight ends and running backs coach for the Braves. For the previous eight years, he was the head coach at Emmett and several of his assistants on that team played for rival Borah during that 1977 game.
I slipped an article every year into their box reminding them of that game, OMahony said. It never ends for any of us.
VINCE MANN, BORAH DE (1985-87)
As a child, Mann roamed the sidelines watching his father, Vic, coach the Lions. He grew up wanting to compete in the rivalry.
I remember the planes, the jets flying over, the national anthem, the bands from both schools and junior highs and the ROTC presenting the colors and marching, Mann said. It was a very large event, especially to a 4-year-old. It made me want to play in it.
Mann did just that beginning in 1985, eventually earning a scholarship to the University of Idaho. He later returned to his alma mater as an assistant from 2003-05 and then as the head coach from 2006-07 before taking his current position as athletic director.
Its very intense. You have a group of people from both sides that (want) to compete and have a good time, Mann said. Even to this day, the kids know that it does mean something.
BOB CLARK, BOISE COACH AND FORMER QB (84-86)
Clark led the Braves to a victory over the Lions as a senior, but hasnt been able to shake the one mistake he made in the game.
What I think I remember most is what my friends still give me business on, Clark said. I threw an interception for a touchdown or it would have been 17-0.
Since he took over as head coach at his alma mater in 2004, Clark is 1-7 against the Lions. That hasnt changed his affection for the rivalry.
Clark and three of his assistants played at Boise, and the group enjoys sharing memories of what the rivalry was like during their days with current players.
I think our kids know its a big deal, but theyre just excited to play (at Dona Larsen), Clark said. Theyre excited because it is a football game. Especially since it is the first game of the year.
DARREN CORPUS, BORAH COACH AND FORMER FB (77-79)
As a player, Corpus went 3-1 against the Braves, including a 38-0 state championship victory in 1979 under Borah coaching legend De Pankratz.
There were three main teams that you knew about back then. It was Borah, Boise and Capital, Corpus said. Not fully did I understand the intensity of the rivalry until the game we played against Boise when I was a sophomore.
Corpus recalls seeing spray paint on the Borah fences and arrows through the Lions before that game in 1977.
You dont know who did that, but you always put it on the other team, he said.
He can still rattle off the names of some of the best players on both teams during that time, and credits speed and toughness with helping the Lions top the Braves his senior season.
Since he took over as Borahs coach last season, Corpus has worked hard to ignite the same fire in his players.
We want it to be exciting and we want the kids to feel that excitement, he said. Its something theyll remember the rest of their lives. Its the first football game ever at Dona Larsen Park.
TANNER GUSTAVSEN, INCUMBENT BOISE QB
One of a handful of four-year starters in Braves history, Gustavsen will take the field Friday night with a new appreciation for a rivalry game he won as a freshman.
Were definitely rivals and its still there, but its just like any other team, were just going out and playing our game and making our reads, he said.
But the idea of playing the first game at Dona Larsen Park has the veteran teeming with excitement.
I am really excited. A little bit nervous, but I think everyone is just a little bit. It should be a good game, he said.
HUNTER KENYON, INCUMBENT BORAH RB
Kenyon knows about the pride associated with beating Boise. The past two years, his Lions have topped the Braves by a combined score of 97-21.
He doesnt want to have a letdown as a senior.
We get excited for this game because we know the history behind it, Kenyon said. Wed just really like to come out here and win.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX