It sure seems like the Junior and Senior Pioneers have playing each other since 1776, doesn't it? The rivalry between the pioneers has spanned the decades.
It's like playing a game against your older brother. If you lose, you have nothing to lose. If you win, you get bragging rights at the dinner table, at least until he calls for a rematch. The Junior and Senior pioneers go head-to-head four times a year, in a rivalry that dates back 47 years. But, Senior Pioneer Mark Rider says the pressure's actually on the seniors.
"We'd kind of like to get bragging rights. I know when I was on the juniors I don't think we ever beat the Seniors. It's one of those deals that we have everything to lose and they have a lot to gain."
But actually beating the Seniors doesn't come easy, or often. The Juniors have lost all three meetings so far this season and haven't won in years. Juniors manager Doug Pollock says, "Because of the rivalry and the talent, I think they're the toughest team we play. It's kind of a different thing, you root for them, but four games a season you don't root quite as hard for them when we play each other."
When the Seniors play the Juniors, most of the talking these days is done before the game. So, during the game the dugouts are relatively quiet. But, that wasn't always the case.
Seniors manager Scott Anders says, "It's really calmed down since I played for the Juniors. It used to be a mouthy game, people talking back and forth. Now, it's pretty mild. It used to be dog-eat-dog when we played each other."
Current Senior Rusty Carr's father Russ Carr played in the first ever Junior/Senior game back when they played in Canalsville. He says it wasn't just the players that did the talking back then. "The fans in Canalsville were pretty verbal, more than they are now. Today, you don't hear too much of it like you did over there," says Carr.
Will the Juniors ever beat the Seniors again? Maybe, but by then these Juniors will become Seniors and they'll get their chance to be the older brother.