RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — The Battle of ’76 is a Raleigh County rivalry between two schools that sit about 11 miles apart. Liberty Head Football Coach, Mark Workman said the rivalry is a no-brainer.
“We are 15 minutes away from each other,” Workman said. “Both schools were built… opened up the same year. A lot of these kids know each other from Liberty and Independence. It is just a good clean rivalry game.”
The Independence Patriots Football Team will host the Liberty Raiders Friday, October 2, 2020. At the end of the night, one of them will hoist up the Battle of ’76 trophy. A rivalry game that is different than others because it has more than bragging rights on the line.
“They started the actual trophy my first year here,” Independence Head Football Coach, John Lilly said. “It is a beautiful trophy. It is huge. It sits in our weight room right now and hopefully, if God’s willing, it will stay here for awhile.”
Independence claimed the rights to the trophy since 2018 and are hoping to keep it in Coal City for another year. But Liberty is hungry to bring it home. Liberty senior, Braden Howell said his boys have the urge and are ready to bring it to Glen Daniel.
“We want it back here because we have never had it,” Howell said. “It is just a big deal for us.”
This game was one that originally got cut from the schedule when the WVSSAC delayed the start of the season. The fact that the game is happening is a big deal and both teams, who are ready to show down. Independence running back, Atticus Goodson, said he is not one to get hyped up for games, but this one is different.
“At first we didn’t think we were going to get play. But now that we are playing, it’s great and we are going to get out there and push it,” Goodson said. “This week… I’ve been jumping around getting ready to go, ready to go put on a show.”
The game is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. in Coal City at Independence High School.