Block, Vidalia renew football rivalry

Published 12:02 am Thursday, December 18, 2014

After a two-year break from the rivalry, Block High School and Vidalia High School have scheduled one another for a home-and-home in 2015 and 2016.

Block head coach Benny Vault called Vidalia head coach Jeff Hancock in the summer, trying to renew the rivalry. Vault followed up with him after the season and penciled in Vidalia for the fourth game of the season.

“You have to always keep the fans coming out,” said Vault, describing the urgency to schedule rivalry games. “We picked up Rayville, but after me and Jeff talked about it again, I decided to drop (Rayville). Now, we play Ferriday, Jena and Vidalia, all big rivalry games.”

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Block and Vidalia didn’t schedule one another two years ago when Vault wanted to keep his first game open with an opportunity to play Wilmer-Hutchins in Dallas on the table.

“They were going to pay us well to come out there and play, but that deal ended up falling through,” Vault said.

After Vault approached Hancock, he talked to his assistant Dee Faircloth, who played Vault for several years in the past, and after discussing with him, decided it would be good for the community to reschedule Block.

“Crowds isn’t something I’ve had to think about in my last 22 years of coaching, but at the high school level, it’s a big deal,” Hancock said. “We want to get big rivalry games to fire people up. We want Ferriday to become a big rivalry game again, but it can be one-sided. Hopefully both Block and Ferriday will become big rivalry games again.”

Vault said he had some legendary games against Faircloth’s Vikings in the past, and that no matter which team had the better group of kids, everyone knew those games were going to be close encounters.

“It’s the same with Ferriday and Jena too,” Vault said. “These kids all know each other, so they play a lot different in those ballgames.”

Block finished the 2014 season at 6-6, while Vidalia finished 0-10 in Hancock’s first year with the program.