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Heated rivalry born across three sports

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Red Sox versus Yankees. Packers versus Bears. North Carolina versus Duke. Oviedo versus Hagerty. Sparks fly when two rivals compete. The level of competition increases as both sides are prepared to do whatever it takes to win. History, individuals and locations all cause rivalries to form.

In a span of 18 days, a new rivalry has been created between the Flagler Palm Coast (FPC) Bulldogs and the Oviedo Lions. Three regional playoff games between the two high schools, in girls’ soccer, girls’ basketball and boys’ basketball, have resulted in fierce competition, fiery fans and some disappointed FPC athletes.

Girls’ soccer

A soccer regional final matchup on Feb. 3 pitted the Lady Lions and Bulldogs against each other for the first time since 2014. It was a defensive tussle from the start. Oviedo had several shots hit the crossbar, along with a missed header and a failed breakaway attempt.

Sophomore Avery Nowak later managed to score the lone first-half goal. FPC threatened with a couple shots on goal, neither of which found the back of the net. The half ended with a heavily disputed call, in which senior Erin Mikalsen’s shot was blocked by the FPC goalkeeper. Oviedo fans were livid, players were in disbelief. The call stood, nonetheless.

The second half began much like the first one, as both teams missed several opportunities. Mikalsen got her redemption halfway through the second half, connecting on a strike to give the Lions some cushion. Oviedo took over ball control from there, and junior Madison Allen notched a goal in the final minute to seal the deal. FPC left the field with a bitter taste in their mouths, as their effort fell short in the 3-0 defeat.

Girls’ basketball

In the girls’ basketball regional quarterfinals on Feb. 9, the Bulldogs tied up the sports saga with a 44-37 win over the Lions. FPC cooled off Oviedo, who was hot off of an impressive district title. This time, it was Oviedo who left the game feeling like they had unfinished business to settle.

Boys’ baksetball

Boys’ basketball brought about a regional semifinal game between Oviedo and FPC on Feb. 21. Unlike the girls’ soccer game, Oviedo found themselves trailing at the half. All throughout the game, the Oviedo student section was furious with the referees, who made some very questionable foul calls. Ironically, it was one of their good calls that coincided with the turning point of the game.

With a few minutes left in the third quarter, the Lions found themselves down by three after a layup from sophomore Morgan Mitchell. On FPC’s next possession, the referees called a backcourt violation, awarding possession to Oviedo. Scores by Mitchell and senior Ivan Smith gave the Lions the lead, and a steal by junior Devon Knaub created a fast break for Oviedo. Smith capped off the fast break with a one-handed slam, igniting the crowd.

Oviedo ended the third quarter with the lead–and never trailed in the fourth quarter–en route to a 64-57 victory. Senior Miguel Lopez made a large impact in the second half, managing a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds). Lopez executed on an impressive play after he tipped in a layup missed by two other Oviedo players. Although FPC stayed close behind, the Lions kept their momentum and avenged their female counterparts.

Almost three weeks have past since the Bulldogs and Lions faced each other for the first time. This neutral matchup will never be the same again. When FPC and Oviedo go head-to-head, athletes will bring their best, and the fans will remember the heated battles ranging over several sports. These three games are only the beginning of an illustrious story. A rivalry is born.

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The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL
Heated rivalry born across three sports