Nixa football

Nixa fullback Stephen Ward breaks loose from Ozark defenders.

Experiencing the phenomenon of the Backyard Brawl for the first time is a unique experience. Never have I witnessed two communities so entrenched in this high school football game that kicks of Friday night in Ozark at Tiger Stadium.

The energy surrounding Friday night’s game intensified as each team was victorious in last week’s games. (Nixa handled Willard 10-7 and Ozark edged Branson 14-13.)

There are so many elements that go on behind the scenes at each school. There’s the mayoral challenges, the roasting of each team’s mascot prior to the game, the pep rallies, bonfires and good spirited jousting by residents of each community toward the competition. It’s great to witness community pride, school pride and student over-the-top pride.

As the originator of the Backyard Brawl name, the Christian County Headliner News, along with CoxHealth and many supporting sponsors get behind this annual event in a manner that’s unequalled in Missouri.

I have been educated in the process of pulling together information and T-shirt sponsors for the BYB, as it’s become know here in the office. Over 500 T’s were produced by Hometown Print House. CoxHealth, Ozark Chevrolet, Ozark Bank, Youngblood Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram and the CCCC Sertoma Club were joined by the Farm Bureau Insurance, Simmons Bank and the UPS Store as part of the fundraiser. 

It’s been an amazing experience to observe team members, cheer squads, moms and dads – virtually everyone in the community giving to the Least Of These (its largest fund-raising effort) and Care to Learn. Canned goods, non-perishables of all sorts and cash are collected prior to and the day of the big game in order to help those in need throughout Christian County.

As a newbie to the county, I have watched as groups stepped up to support, not only the football players that will battle it out at Tiger Stadium, but every person in need.

Here’s an invitation to everyone in Christian County: Come on out to witness two great football teams and be a part of giving to those less fortunate. You’ll watch players who are on the field to represent their high school, community and the game of football.

Keith Hansen

The Price of Success

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

--Vince Lombardi

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