"It really means everything," Glenville State senior lineman Kyle Warner said. "It really sets the tone for our season. When you're working in the off-season and doing your reps, you think, 'man, Fairmont.' There's really nothing else to say about it. Everybody around here knows what it means. It's the game of the year."
Rivalries are based on tradition, and there is nothing that looks more like tradition than an actual trophy. This is the Battle for the Drill Bit trophy. Its home has been right here on the campus of Glenville State College each of the last three years. Thursday will determine whether it remains here in Glenville, or returns to Fairmont.
"It's neat to have a trophy. Here in the state of West Virginia, it's great to have something from the oil and gas company. Waco was nice enough to donate it. So it's a trophy we would like to keep here in Glenville," Pioneers Head Football Coach David Hutchison said.
"This is definitely a rivalry that we enjoy being a part of," Fairmont State Head Football Coach Jason Woodman said. "It's a good competition every year. We know we're going to have to play our tails off to beat Glenville. They're going to be fired up and ready to play just like we are. So I'm happy to be a part of it."
Thursday's game will mark the 86th meeting between the two schools. It's a rivalry that began all the way back in 1909. Names like Rich Rodriguez, Deacon Duvall, Jed Drenning, and Jarrod Furgason have all left their mark on the matchup. But for some of the local guys, the meaning runs much deeper.
"Being from around here and being recruited from both schools, it always give you a little chip on your shoulder. You want to beat that school that you didn't go to. So that helps," Glenville State junior linebacker Hunter McWhorter said.
"I'm from Braxton County. We have 50 people coming from Braxton County to watch. But it means everything. It really sets the tone. It really does," Warner reiterated.
Jason Woodman is brand new to the rivalry, since being hired as Fairmont State's Head Coach earlier this year. But he says it didn't take him too long to figure out THIS game means quite a bit to his upperclassmen.
"I don't think I have to. I think I know," Woodman said. "I think that when it comes down to Fairmont and Glenville, you can throw the records out the window. All of those intangibles on paper don't really matter. I think it's a rivalry, and when you do that, you never know what's going to happen."
And not knowing what's going to happen on the field is the best part. But one thing is for certain...
"There will be a lot of blue, but there will be some maroon as well. But the excitement from our community with all of our new facilities, it'll be a great place to be," Hutchison said.