WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — We have a special game of the week for the fifth featured matchup of the season. For the first time in the Maize South-Maize High rivalries, both teams will be taking their team to downtown Wichita for a game at Riverfront Stadium.
“They’re a very talented team,” said Maize senior linebacker, Ayden Flores. “They were a talented team last year. They have pretty much the same team as last year, maybe even a little bit better. Very talented team, I give respect to that team, but I respect my team too. So, I’m excited for the game.”
For Flores and the Eagles, they have had some rocky moments this year so far, but they currently are 2-2 after defeating Salina South 45-13 last Friday. Head coach Gary Guzman says even with both teams featuring new players, it’s always a fun matchup when they take on their crosstown rival, especially with this year’s game being played at Riverfront.
“We’ve got a new group of guys, but it’s still, to us it’s still Maize South,” explained Guzman. “Our guys are looking forward to it. Their guys are looking forward to playing us. I don’t think it’s any different for either of us, I think it’s two crosstown rivals getting after it.”
Instead of a heavy favorite, they enter this matchup as an underdog, and it’s a role the players are taking a liking to.
“I mean they have a lot of good guys,” said Maize senior offensive lineman Cole Chalashtari. “Very talented on offense. So I mean it’s just defense stepping up and we have to go and do our job.”
As for Maize South, they entered this year with some high expectations, and while it hasn’t been perfect, the Mavericks enter this week with a 3-1 record and all three of their wins have been by at least 21 points. Head coach Brent Pfeifer says the team is working at getting better every day and this matchup is just another game on the schedule.
“I think a lot of it is emotion every year with this game,” explained Pfeifer. “There’s highs and lows when you’re playing teams across the way from you. When you look at those games that are rivalry games, it’s about the rise and fall of emotions and who can control that. They have a lot of creativity over there. They do a good job getting their kids ready on both sides of the ball. They’re always going to bring their best to a Friday night, and we’ll see what happens when we show up.”
But it is still a unique experience for the players to play at Riverfront.
Maize South senior tight end, Jeron Askren added, “It’s a really exciting feeling just to know that many people want to watch and see what we do.”