Help two Heartland schools win big!

Brookfield-Marceline 2012 Bell Game

What is a rivalry?

Many would say it is something between two teams who donâ??t like each other and are located in proximity.

And for many, a good rivalry is rooted in history and when the teams compete there is something at stake.

For around 90 years, Brookfield and Marceline have battled it out in the â??Bell Game.â??

After decades of going up against each other, the Brookfield and Marceline football teams and their communities are now pulling together so they both can become winners.

USA Today High School Sports has a competition underway to determine the nationâ??s top high school football rivalry.

After a couple of weeks of voting on the best rivalry in each state, the Brookfield-Marceline school rivalry won for the state of Missouri.

And now the competition is going on to decide who the best rivalries in four different regions are.

After that, those four winners will advance to the national competition and compete for $10,000 to be split between the two winning teams.

The Brookfield-Marceline â??Bell Gameâ?? rivalry is so deep that both schools even disagree about when the rivalry started.

â??Every great rivalry has a dispute at some point in time,â?? Brookfield Football Coach Nile Thudeium said. â??And, our dispute is even over when the rivalry began and then over the overall record.â??

Thudeium said the official rivalry began somewhere around 1922. He said two locals from Marceline and Brookfield decided the teams should play for a traveling trophy, and it was decided that they would take a bell off of the local fire engine.

â??I believe that we (Brookfield) claim that we have (a) three-game lead in the overall record, and (Marceline) claim(s) we only have a two-game lead at this point,â?? Thudeium said. â??So, itâ??s been a great rivalry over the years. Itâ??s certainly been important to us.â??

The Marceline athletic director said a lot of people are very supportive of the long-running competition.

â??It is a major rivalry, and itâ??s something that creates a lot of spirit in the schools as well as the communities and something they look forward to each year,â?? Kent O'laughlin said.

Thudeium said the schools currently hold a narrow lead in USA Todayâ??s regional competition, so theyâ??re asking people to help these two local teams win in regionals and then hopefully in the national competition, too, by voting online.

To help both schools win, click HERE.

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