Nixa- Oark, the Backyard Brawl is one of the area's most intense rivalries.
"If we win the game we're going to go shop at Walmart in Nixa and wear all of our Ozark stuff," said Ozark assistant coach Justin Emmerton. "If they win they're going to come shop in Ozark with all of their Nixa stuff." Emmerton played for the Tigers in the first Ozark- Nixa game.
"The winner is the winner of the Christian County Brawl, it's a Brawl," said Nixa's 1st football coach Joe Hawkins. But it wasn't always that way.
"I personally didn't look at it as this huge rivalry because it couldn't be a rivalry because we hadn't ever played each other, said Nixa's 1st football coach Joe Hawkins. "It was really a gradually build to the rivalry rather than an all of a sudden, the all out war in the county," said Emmerton.
The two school separated by less than five miles didn't play in football until 24 years ago. 6 years after Nixa started its football program. When thinking about the first game. Joe Hawkins, Nixa's first head coach says he remembers it being less about the rivalry and more about what playing Ozark was going to do for Nixa's program.
"Just getting the game was a big deal because we were trying to get in the COC," said Hawkins.
Ozark won that 1st game 12-6. The next year. Nixa City Councilman Brian Steele, played for the Eagles on this field at now what's the now the junior high and Steele helped Nixa earn the first win over the Tigers.
"Once we won that game, that set the stage that we were there to fight and we weren't going to roll over for them," said Steele.
It may not have started as a rivalry. But it didn't take long for that to change. "I knew it was going to be a rivalry every year and it was going to be big, you just knew that," said Hawkins.
Ozark enters this years game undefeated. The Tigers look to snap Nixa's 2 game winning streak in the series.