On Sunday night, the Montague and Whitehall high school football teams and their fans met for a classic pre-game coin toss on the bridge over the White River that conjoins the two rivaling towns.
The Wildcats won the coin toss and will decide Friday on their field at 7 p.m. if they will receive or defer the opening kickoff.
The small-town rivalry between the two schools is no secret in the high school football world.
The “Battle for the Bell” is one of the best high school football rivalries in Michigan and can be compared to the clash between Michigan and Michigan State. And while that classic college matchup can be extremely heated between fans, the clash between the Wildcats and Vikings is one that the neighboring towns cherish.
From a historical perspective, Montague has owned the rivalry over the past 20 seasons with a 15-5 record. But from 1978-1997, Whitehall held a 12-8 advantage. Since 1950, the two schools have met 74 times and the Wildcats hold a 38-36 winning record over the Vikings.
LSJ photographer Leo Valdez was on hand for Sunday’s coin toss. Check out a few photo highlights from the meeting on the bridge.