BATAVIA – With boisterous fans filling both sides of the field Friday night, the matchup between the Batavia and Geneva football teams took on a playoff atmosphere.
But that wasn’t surprising, given the long-standing rivalry between the two teams.
“It’s bragging rights for next year,” said Geneva High School sophomore Jack Delabar, who watched his Vikings come into Bulldog Country and win, 14-12, in the last game of the regular season. “It’s for pride.”
The rivalry took an ugly turn earlier in the day, when someone spray-painted graffiti on Geneva High School.
Delabar said that was carrying rivalries too far.
“There’s no reason for that stuff,” he said.
Friday’s victory provided payback for Geneva. Last year, Batavia won both its games against the Vikings at Geneva High School.
Batavia High School freshman Kelli Jancauskas was unknowingly showing pride for her school when she draped herself in a blanket trimmed with gold tassels.
The school’s colors are red and gold.
“It’s just warm,” she said.
Underneath her Batavia Bulldogs hoodie, Batavia sophomore Lydia Scalise was wearing a shirt from when Batavia went to the state playoffs last year.
“It’s kind of our lucky shirt,” Scalise said.
She said the game was the place to be Friday, even for non-football fans.
“Batavia and Geneva are rival schools. Everybody comes,” Scalise said.
Batavia High School freshman Nick Sarkauskas agreed. His gold and red necklaces showed his allegiance.
“I like hanging out with my friends and chilling out,” he said. “I have been to all the home games. It’s a lot bigger than homecoming because we are playing our rivals.”
But there was plenty of Viking pride on display, as well. Tom Stanfa’s cotton Viking hat was helping to keep the 52-year-old Geneva resident warm.
“It’s always a good rivalry,” Stanfa said. “It is a fun thing to do on Friday nights.”
He spoke highly of both teams.
“Batavia is a good football team. Geneva has worked very hard. Last year was a let down, losing to Batavia twice,” Stanfa said.