Battle of the Ax Preview - - No One Gets You Closer

Battle of the Ax Preview


GRAYSON CO., TX-- Sherman senior Kahlee Woods and Denison senior Clifton Hines know all about this rivalry, they grew up in it and have gone toe-to-toe since middle school.

So far it's Woods getting the better end of the deal, "I haven't lost to Denison since my eighth grade year. It was a while back," he said.

Hines has his head up for his last dance with the Ax. As for the verbal jabs between the Bearcats and Yellow Jackets, he loves it.

"It gets you really excited. For me as a competitor you want to play against those people so you know that y'all beef and y'all go back and forth over who's better and who's not," he said.

There will be a lot of familiar faces on the field from Ax's past. But there's a new kid in town down in Sherman, a gun slinging senior quarterback named Dru Smith who's lit up Class 4A so far this season.

He didn't grow up in it, but he knows exactly what the longest running rivalry in Texas high school football entails, "I don't even know how it's going to, I can't even imagine it. But I know it's going to be loud, I know records don't matter at this point as both teams are bringing their 'A' game because both teams, just the hatred, the tradition that the game brings, I just know it's going to be a great game," he said.

Denison head coach Chad Rogers will also get his first taste of Ax-dom at Munson Stadium Friday, but he's no stranger of what's to come.

"Whenever I first got the job, this was something I looked forward to because you always look forward to rivalry games because, it's just, the two communities are going to be excited about it, have a little buzz," he said.

The trash talk has echoed up and down Texoma Parkway for Friday's matchup since the clock struck zero last Oct. 21.

Woods and his teammate Smith expect the Ax to stay in Sherman

"We will win. That's what we say here. Three-dub, we will win," Woods said.

"We're going to win, there's no other way about it. There's no maybe, might, no we're going to. There's no question about it," Smith added.

No matter what the outcome, a brand new set of lifelong memories will be created and a rivalry will continue to live on.

"It's fun to play against people that you know and people that you see quite a bit, but I mean, they're still enemies on the field. It's going to be really fun," Hines concluded.

The 114th Battle of the Ax will kick from Munson Stadium at 7:30 Friday.