GVSU-Ferris State rivalry to heat up

Judson Rodriguez

Even amidst a terrible season, a team can salvage a whole year with a win against their archrival.

These days it appears as though Grand Valley State University has distanced the gap with its rivals. The soccer team has already beaten its archrival, Ferris State University, this season — a 1-0 victory Sept. 12. The football team has not lost to FSU since 1999.

Throw all that out. It doesn’t matter this week.

“Rivalry in college sports is something that is built on proximity,” said Athletic Director Tim Selgo. “You don’t pay attention to record during these games.”

Rivalry caused by proximity allows a team’s fan base to learn about the other school’s program, said women’s soccer head coach Dave DiIanni.

“Teams involved in rivalries know that when they play each other they’re going to get their best shot,” Dilanni said.

The women’s soccer team continued their dominance with a win over Ferris State earlier this year. Senior keeper Chelsea Parise will go for her ninth shutout of the season and second against FSU this year.

More scoring chances will be necessary as the Lakers struggled to get the offense going against the energized Bulldogs.

“The Ferris team played competitively, maybe to a level we hadn’t seen in awhile,” DiIanni said. ”These kinds of games you’re going to have to earn.”

Senior wide receiver Charles Johnson, who was a part of the Lakers’ 57-10 victory over the Bulldogs on the grid iron last season, said that he will stick to the everyday routine that’s been successful all year.

“It’s just another game that you have to get a win,” he said. “The coaches have done a good job of getting us into the correct formations and I think that will work out.”

A good game plan will be necessary as sophomore quarterback Isiah Grimes makes his first start against Ferris State, a game in which the winner receives the Anchor-Bone trophy.

“We have a lot of confidence in our quarterback to lead us to victory against anybody we play,” Johnson said.
Rivalries are a large part of college sports, and these games have a way of bringing a campus together.

“These two schools are an hour apart and, when you play a rival like FSU, this game has a star beside it,” Selgo said.

Rivalries can create memories, too, and that’s something that fans, players and administration can see in Ferris State.

“I came here from Eastern Kentucky and I can see how at Grand Valley we take winning against out rivals seriously,” Johnson said.

Selgo remembers his first year as athletic director, when the Lakers took down No. 1 ranked Ferris State in football.

“I have a lot of good memories from all the sports in this rivalry,” he said. “But I think that game stands out because it was my first year and they were ranked so high.”

Forget the records, this will be a dogfight.

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