David & Goliath: Vidalia, Ferriday meet for parish rivalry game Friday

Published 11:44 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Vidalia High School Vikings haven’t defeated Ferriday High in almost a decade, notching their last victory over the Trojans in 2008.

This year, however, could be totally different.

In his first year back as head coach since a 42-year stint from 1968-2009, Dee Faircloth said anything is possible.

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“It’s David and Goliath, and they are Goliath,” he said. “We’ll have to see if David goes in there and gets squished by Goliath. That’s the intriguing part of it.”

The Vikings are set to visit the Trojans for kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday, and Ferriday coach Stanley Smith agreed the matchup could be an interesting one.

Both teams enter the contest at 5-1, while a reclassification this past summer has yielded an additional rivalry in LHSAA District 2-2A.

“I just believe the best team is going to win. The prerequisite doesn’t mean anything,” Smith said. “It’s about being 1-0 that night.”

While the game’s stakes are always high for the players and fans, both coaches are bound to have some flashbacks this year.

In1998, Faircloth met Smith — a freshman power linebacker for the Trojans.

“I had to deal with him for four years,” Faircloth said. “I remember every tackle he made against me. He was a great linebacker, and one of the best they have ever had in Ferriday.

“He’s a competitor and always has been. Stanley was the leader.”

Smith — in his first year as head coach — returned to his hometown, accepting the position this past March. He also began his coaching career at Ferriday, serving as defensive coordinator in 2010.

“There was no better game than when we played Vidalia,” Smith said. “We didn’t like each other until the game was over. Then it was all one big Concordia Parish.

“During high school, I was 3-1 against Coach Faircloth, but it was very competitive. They ran the ball and were effective doing it. They played hard and with discipline, and he would never take anything bad from his kids. He always demanded excellence.”

Smith said while getting another win over Faircloth would be nice, he would rather reach the accomplishment for his team.

Ferriday is currently ranked No. 1 in the LHSAA Class 2A Power Ratings, while Vidalia sits at No. 18.

“I’m a coach now, and it’s about the kids,” Smith said. “I worked hard to be successful. Me being a hometown boy, I think everyone knows what I stand for and how hard we work. I’m just trying to pass that down.”

And though Faircloth is still wondering if his team will rise or fall as David, he did say the program is on the upswing no matter what.

“There have been some great games, but the rivalry sort of disappeared in recent years,” he said. “We didn’t present much of a challenge to them. If there is no challenge, there is no rivalry.

“We haven’t been in a 5-1 position in a long, long time. Hopefully we can work toward getting it back to the stage where everybody talks about this game.”