Top of the Morning, Feb. 28, 2018

Top of the Morning, Feb. 28, 2018

How big of a deal is the resumption of the Arcola-Tuscola high school football rivalry?

Big enough that fans on both sides are ordering commemorative license plates touting the Cola Wars.

"I'll have a pair of plates for my Ford Explorer and my husband's work truck," said Marci Shoemaker of the Tuscola High Alumni Association.

On Aug. 31, the Warriors and Purple Riders will meet at Memorial Field in Tuscola. Ahead of the teams' first meeting since 2011, both schools are taking orders for special-event plates ($30 per pair) that can be displayed from July 3 to Aug. 31. (To order online, Tuscola fans can click here, while Arcola fans can click here.)

The alumni association that sells the most plates will be recognized at the game. Deadline to order is Saturday, Shoemaker said.

Tuscola and Arcola first played in 1896. The trash talking presumably started soon thereafter.

"It's not that we don't like them," Shoemaker said. "We just don't get along together on the football field — kind of like oil and water, yankees and rebels, or Democrats and Republicans.

"And when it comes to football, we are passionate fans behind our teams."

Their cars will soon give it away.

"These young football players don't understand the importance of this game like their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents do," Shoemaker said.