Fight Like An Eagle: Lindale vs. Canton Game Of The Week - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/22/06

Fight Like An Eagle: Lindale vs. Canton Game Of The Week

They were once district rivals but after a few changes handed out by the UIL, the Lindale Eagles are now a 4A team and the Canton Eagles are still in 3A.

But separated by just 30 miles, realignment could not take any steam out of this old rivalry.  

"Canton and Lindale is always going to be a big rivalry," said Lindale wide receiver Seth Bauman. 

When it comes to Canton, the Lindale Eagles have a bit of a chip on their shoulders.

"The seniors haven't beaten them since we've been playing them so, it's big rivalry," said quarterback Lucas Shipman. 

The last two season, it was their Eagle counterparts 30 miles away getting the wins. In 2005, Canton beat out Lindale for the district title, something that had not happened in 41 years.

"Anytime you have never beaten a team you always see playing them again as another chance to beat them," Bauman said.

"When you get beat by a team two years in a row, there's a little bad taste, a little blood, you want to go out for a little more blood," said Lindale head coach Mike Meadow said. "Our kids have more pride and they really want to go out there and compete in this."

 With the realignment move to 4A, Lindale players and coaches believe fans were not thrilled about the upcoming season.

"We've been 4A a couple of years before, and we've had not great success," Meador said. "We didn't go to the playoffs in any one of those years. We've competed hard everytime we've been in 4A so our community was a little shocked and a little disappointed when we went 4A."

"We knew that they would be saying stuff," Shipman said.  "We had to prove ourselves and we feel like we're doing that."

Lindale is off to a 3-0 start. Though they have yet to play a 4A opponent, Lindale said they can compete at any level.

"Going up to 4A we have more expectations for ourselves," Shipman said, "and playing Canton is our first step as far as we want to go which is 10-0 or wherever we want to get to this year."

"The passion and hard work," said wide receiver Eric White. "We're all playing together."

Up the interstate at Canton High School, all the talk was of the green and white Eagles beating the blue and white Eagles.

"It's a big game," said Coach Lance Angel. "Lindale will be fired up. It's a big game for us. They've had three big wins and they're coming off a big win so they are going to come in here sky high."

Canton is 2-1 but hoping to add another notch in the win streak against Lindale. 

"We had a good game last year and I think we'll have a good game this year," said Canton's Stephen Gummelt.

"It's very intense," Canton left tackle Cade Burks said of the rivalry. "Every year it's very tough. The same guys are back. It's the same guy you played last year."

One thing at Canton's pep rally no one would say, "Beat the Eagles."

"We're the Eagles and so are they," Burks said, "but I think we'll find out who the real Eagles are tonight."

Whether it is the team from Smith County or Van Zandt County, one thing is for sure, the Eagles will win.

"Eagles are going to win," Coach Angel said. "The important thing is which Eagles." 

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