While the two Lima schools come together to form a new rivalry and one that might only last this year, there have been several rivalries in the past five years that have heated up or changed the landscape of how a season has developed. Some even decided who would win league championships.
Here is a glimpse of some of the rivalries that might have an impact this year.
Pandora-Gilboa vs. Columbus Grove
The long-standing rivalry between these two Putnam County neighbors seems to always produce exciting games. In week one, like the Lima crosstown rivalry, is all about the bragging rights and getting off to a winning start. Columbus Grove won the first three contests from 2014-2016, but in the last two years Pandora-Gilboa has notched back-to-back wins.
Pandor-Gilboa and Columbus Grove come into this game having lost some top-notch talent but still have plenty of quality to produce another exciting win.
Wapakoneta vs. St. Marys
These two Auglaize County schools have always been rivals, and in the past five years it has been the game that helped decide the Western Buckeye League champion. Since 2014 Wapakoneta and St. Marys have either won or shared the WBL title.
Last year, the rivalry reached a climax when Wapakoneta edged St. Marys on a late field goal to not only garner the win for the Redskins but give them a share of the league crown. In the past five years, Wapakoneta holds a 3-2 edge after winning in 2014 and 2015, but St. Marys took the next two.
This year the game comes early in week 2, and both teams are coming off highly successful seasons last year. Interestingly enough, the two teams must find quarterbacks and replace two signal callers who were a vital cog in their respective offenses.
Even though a loss does not necessarily put the team out of the hunt for the league championship, it will definitely give the winner the inside track on snaring the WBL.
Crestview vs. Spencerville
One of the most exciting games last year came when Crestview edged Spencerville 50-49 that would eventually lead to the two teams sharing the Northwest Conference crown. Since 2014, Spencerville holds a 3-2 edge, and in three of those contests, the game was decided by three points or less.
Crestview and Spencerville come into this season with some holes to replace. The Knights lost all-state quarterback Drew Kline and all-everything Wade Sheets, along with a number of talented seniors. However, Crestview returns many of the players who have helped the Knights to playoff appearances and wins.
Spencerville, like their Crestview counterparts, is also looking to fill voids left by a talented senior class but does have its top rusher back for another season.
By the seventh week of the season, these two teams will butt heads, and it could be for the NWC title.