Typically, The Property Geeks get along. But we’ve found that there’s one thing that divides us, even more than the Diet Pepsi versus Diet Coke debate.
And the rivalry is coming to a head this Friday at the annual Lakeville North versus Lakeville South football game.
There’s no doubt The Property Geeks love Lakeville.
But when it comes to which local high school football team to support, we’re split right down the middle. Half of us live within the boundaries for Lakeville North, and half of us are closer to Lakeville South. The rivalry is real, but friendly, pitting cheers of “North or None” against “South For Life” within the office on a weekly basis.
It wasn’t always that way. Up until 2005, fans of Lakeville football didn’t have to pick sides. But then Lakeville South High School opened, pitting the new Cougars against their established hometown rivals, the Lakeville North Panthers. Recently, we had a chance to talk to both Brian Vossen, head coach of Lakeville North, and Tyler Krebs, the new head coach of Lakeville South.
Both coaches attended Lakeville North back when it was just known as Lakeville High School, although they were a few years apart. Both played under coach Larry Thompson who will be honored at this year’s game. Both love living in Lakeville. But one thing that sets them apart is that Coach Vossen has always been at North, while Coach Krebs spent time playing as a Panther, but now sports the Cougar logo.
When asked about how he feels about Lakeville football, Coach Vossen says “It’s hard because I’ve never been a Cougar.”
Even his mentor, Coach Thompson, has spent time at both schools, first as a Panther at Lakeville High and then moving to Lakeville South to start that program when the new school opened.
Some things have stayed the same between the schools. Local parents can attest to the fact the sparkly Homecoming pants are still a big tradition. When South opened, they installed a spirit rock, similar to the one that has sat outside north for years.
But the schools also have some traditions that set them apart. North adopted the slogan “North or None” which actually originated from an email address of one of Vossen’s players, a sophomore linebacker. Coach Vossen says sometimes the tag line is misunderstood. It’s not about how great North is. It means “doing everything you can to improve your program — don’t let anything distract you.” South’s slogan “South for Life” supports a similar message. According to Coach Krebs, “Once you’re a South student athlete, you always will be.”
No matter where your loyalties lie, there’s no doubt it will be a big game for both schools.
“As exciting as it is for the community, for the kids we try to keep it about the game,” Coach Vossen says. “We’re not doing anything different for this game than we would for any other. The kids are super lucky to get to play in front of a community that’s so supportive.”
So who will come out ahead? North or South?
“I’m sure over the course of a hundred years it’ll be even,” says Coach Vossen. Coach Krebs agrees. “When the schools split, South won a lot. Now North is on a roll. We’ve got some work to do.”
In addition to the game, it will be an important night for Lakeville football. Coach Krebs says he’s excited that they’ll have a chance to honor Coach Thompson this Friday. “His legacy is still going on in both of our schools.”
It’s also Tackle Cancer Night for Lakeville North. They’ll be raising money for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Memorial Fund. Minnesota high schools have been participating in the program by collecting donations at a home game during the season. Lakeville South participated last week in their home win against Burnsville. Last year the program raised over $281,000 for cancer research right here in Minnesota.
Who will you be cheering for this Friday? Coach Vossen is standing behind his Lakeville North Panthers and Coach Krebs is pushing for his Lakeville South Cougars. The Property Geeks will likely still be divided. But one thing’s for sure, we’re all united when it comes to our love of the Lakeville community.