A 2011 rivalry game between Iowa's West Des Moines Valley High School and Dowling Catholic High School.
Photo by Bill Neibergall via publicpaulandmedia.wordpress.com
Crosstown is a new series on USA Football’s Coach and Coordinator podcast this season that focuses on rivalry games. We highlight some of the biggest and longest standing rivalries in the country with teams that are just miles away from each other. This series is designed to get insight on how to prepare the coach for these big games. We talk with the head coaches on each side of the rivalry and get their perspectives.
This week’s game is one of the biggest rivalries in Iowa as the No. 4 Valley Tigers take on No. 1 Dowling Catholic Maroons. The schools are just 2.6 miles apart.
Valley and Dowling started an annual rivalry in 1968 and this week they are playing for the 51st consecutive regular season meeting. The game will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Drake has a capacity of 14,557.
Dowling owns a 32-18 advantage in regular-season games. Valley has won 10 of 21 playoff meetings, though. Dowling won the last meeting 42-14.
Dating back to 2000, the two schools have combined to win 13 state football championships — five for Valley in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2011; and eight for Dowling in 2000, 2001, 2010, and every year since 2013 (five in a row).
Tom Wilson is now in his 14th season at Dowling, and during that time, he’s won 142 games. In his 22nd year overall, Wilson has amassed 234 wins with six state championships. Dowling Catholic is the first 4A school in Iowa to win five consecutive state championships
Gary Swenson hit his 350-career win when his Tigers beat Southeast Polk last Friday. During his 25 seasons at Valley, Swenson has amassed 225 victories. He is in his 43rd year of coaching with six state championship (five at Valley).
You can watch the game live, with replay on Youtube.
03:09 What the game means to Wilson
04:15 What is out of the norm for a typical game week
05:15 Trying to keep normalcy and let everyone else hype the game
05:30 Managing being in the media spotlight; a lesson learned in 2005
07:11 Finding the balance of soaking in the moment yet keep normalcy
09:04 Growth between week one and two while facing a rival
10:06 Keep it narrowed down to day to day improvement
11:10 What do you say before the team takes the field in this game?
12:54 Appreciate the opportunity of the rivalry and your piece of history
13:29 Managing the highs and lows of the big game
15:51 A play that stands out in the rivalry for Wilson
18:10 Getting ready for the week after the big game
20:00 Wilson’s tips for being successful in and after the rivalry week
22:00 What makes the game special for Swenson
24:06 Balancing the big game and normal preparation over the week
25:48 It’s one contest on our record
27:23 Preparing the uptight team vs. the hyped up team
30:30 The ebbs and flows and how Swenson handles it
32:36 Mutual respect of the opponents starts with the coaching staff
33:19 Swenson’s most memorable moments of the rivalry
35:35 Swenson’s tips for coaching in the big game
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RELATED CONTENT: [PODCAST] Coach and Coordinator: Tom Wilson (2/1/18)