‘Sans Souci Struggle’ – Teams Create New Rivalry Tradition

The Hanover Area Hawkeyes and the Greater Nanticoke Area Trojans are squaring off Friday night for their highly anticipated rivalry football game.

The teams have dubbed this game the "Sans Souci Struggle." They held a luncheon on Friday to start a new tradition between the rival teams.

The Hanover Hawkeyes and the Nanticoke Trojans have been rivals for years no matter what sport it is.

"Off the field, we're OK. On the field, we don't like each other," said Dylan Szychowski, a player for Nanticoke.

Now their annual high school football game against each other has a new name – the "Sans Souci Struggle" -- based on the name of the highway that connects the two communities.

"It's a heated rivalry in all sports, basketball, football, everything. These kids are less than six miles away from each other so when they actually get to have their competitive edge on the field, nothing ever carries over off the field," said Nanticoke football coach Ronald Bruza.

Football players, coaches, and administrative staff from both teams met at Nanticoke Area Junior/Senior High School for a luncheon to mark the start of a new tradition for the teams.

Not only will their rivalry game get a new name, but it will also get a trophy that will go to the winner each year.

"We talked a couple years ago about making this game really something special like the Dallas/Lehman game with the old shoe," said Hanover Area football coach Michael McCree.

Many of the players are seniors so this will be their last rivalry game. They say they're honored to be a part of a new tradition.

"So excited that our senior class is going to be the ones that going to set the way for years to come," said Hanover football player Justin Kopko.

"It went fast, all the four years went real fast. So, it's an exciting time, an exciting day. So, we'll see how the game goes," Szychowski said.

As the teams prepare for their rivalry game Friday night, the players and their coaches look forward to a new chapter in the schools' sports history.

"I think it's a great tradition. It shows them it's something they're going to remember for the rest of their life. The last game you remember is the last one you play in; a lot of our kids don't go on to college and play on the next level," Coach Bruza said.

The game at Greater Nanticoke Area Junior/Senior High School will start at 7 p.m.