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The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

Titans Demolish Panthers 31-21

Matheus Luiz

The biggest rivalry in Central Florida is between two juggernaut programs, each school holding thousands of students. Only separated by 5 miles, the Dr. Phillips vs Olympia rivalry has been going on for 22 years, bringing out lots of passion between the two teams. For 17 consecutive years, the DP Panthers have been on top. As of last year, however, the Olympia Titans finally overcame the Panthers, resulting in back-to-back victories by the Titans.

A rivalry game isn’t just about two neighboring teams showing up and competing against one another. Rivalries bring a whole new level to the game, boosting the energy and putting even more pressure on both teams. Coach Travis “Gabe’ Gabriel is the first coach in Olympia history to beat the Panthers. “Whenever you play a crosstown rival, the energy and intensity have to turn up another notch, leading everyone to play at a different level,” Gabe said, looking at this rivalry game as a special “opportunity to play against one of the best teams in Central Florida” that is “right down the street.” Gabe’s approach to this well-anticipated match led his Titans to a 31-21 victory over the Panthers in their own stadium.

Coach Gabe preaches a mindset to stay with yourself, and the football players did exactly that. Junior standout lineman Parker Moss shared his thoughts leading into the game. “Our goal is to show that last year wasn’t a fluke and just to go out there by being physical and not having any mental mistakes,” Moss explained. By emphasizing both mental and physical strength, the Titans were able to control the field. 

“The way our offense has been, we will just go out there and do what we have been doing all year,” Moss shared, predicting a win. The offense did just that. They scored 24 unanswered points and seemed to have had everything clicking for them. 

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Senior Tyler Cross, an exceptional athlete with multiple Division I offers, went into this rivalry with a mindset to dominate. “Playing Dr. Phillips for the first time back on their field feels like a homecoming for me. It’s always fun playing a school that didn’t give you the chance you deserved,” Cross, a transfer from Dr. Phillips, expressed. Cross was motivated to do the absolute best he could to help his team win. “My approach going into the game was just for me to be mentally focused and just worry about what I can control,” Cross said. He went on to control the game on both sides of the ball, as he racked up key tackles and played a phenomenal game on offense. 

The Titans had the Panther’s number for the second straight year as the powered offense and defense collaborated to put on a show for the Friday the 13th crosstown rivalry. Coach Gabe’s well-prepped team and the star-studded roster flipped the momentum in the rivalry history as Dr. Phillips, who had never lost to Olympia going into last year, now has back-to-back losses. This new momentum suggests that the Titans have an extremely bright future in this rivalry.

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About the Contributor
Trace Furniss, Staff
Trace Furniss is a senior staff member of The Oracle. He is on the varsity baseball team at Olympia and is an officer of the 6th Man club. In his free time, Trace likes to spend time with friends and go to sporting events. He enjoys listening to Rap music and Pop music from the early 2010's.
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