ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) A Roanoke football rivalry returns Saturday after seven years. But before the game, the two teams are working together in the community.
It was all handshakes and hellos between these teams. North Cross and Roanoke Catholic are getting to know each other before they renew their high school football rivalry.
This meetup has three goals. One - to gain a sense of community. Two - to instill sportsmanship back into the rivalry. And three to cultivate personal relationships
"I think what we want to accomplish is to have a very strong rivalry we don't need a lot of contention in the rivalry and we hope that having our kids know each other a little better might alleviate some of that," North Cross head coach Stephen Alexander said.
They're teaming up to clean up the community together. And while they're picking up trash, there's no trash talking.
"The community has been really kind to us and it's an opportunity for both schools to come back and do something positive," Roanoke Catholic head coach Bob Price said.
Ethan Wright plays for Roanoke Catholic and Davis Call plays for North Cross. But today, they're on the same team.
"I think it's great. I think it gives us the opportunity to meet them and understand that we're not that different from each other," Wright said.
"I'm enjoying it so far to be honest, it think it will bring us two teams together as a whole," Call said.
While their hands are picking up trash, their heads are still in the game.
"Just counting down the days to be honest with you, we have a countdown on the board in our locker room," Call said.
The two teams meet Saturday at 7 p.m. at Vinton Park in Vinton. Maybe then - a little friendly trash talking will pick up.