Rivalries are more than just a game; for most, it is a long standing tradition that has become an event that represents the school's story or history. For
and Lugoff-Elgin (Lugoff, S.C.)
, history could not have run any deeper. And for that reason, their annual game was deemed worthy of a visit from the "MaxPreps Rivalry Series presented by the National Guard."
With the two towns separated by only the Wateree River, this rivalry has taken on a life of its own. It is a highlighted game not only for the teams and schools, but for the town as well. Attending the "dog roast" at Lugoff-Elgin, it was evident how the Demons felt about their rival Bulldogs. Expecting to feast on an abundance of hot dogs, MaxPreps quickly learned just exactly was meant by "dog roast". On top of a pile of wood sat a stuffed bulldog, an effigy of the mascot who they would face the next day. Soon enough the pile of wood was set ablaze, with students surrounding it and cheering as they watched the bulldog catch fire and topple off.
Just like their rivals, Camden was upfront and frank about what they intended to accomplish on Friday night. During the school's pep rally, amongst the chants of "Beat LE, beat LE!!!", a student dressed in a devil mask and pitch fork ran around the gym while being chased by students with water guns until the Lugoff-Elgin "demon" was chased out the gym. But with all the fun and entertainment that came out of the pep rally, there was no better moment than when Camden head coach Jimmy Neal took the microphone. Standing at center court, he gave a rousing speech that would make even the most indifferent person ready to go into battle against Lugoff-Elgin later that night.
We were fortunate enough to have the company of the South Carolina National Guard, which included Sergeant Hudson, Sergeant Kaz, and Sergeant First Class Jackson. For some of the National Guard members, this rivalry was more than just a game- it was personal. SFC Jackson was a graduate of Camden High School, but also had a child enrolled at Lugoff-Elgin. For SGT Hudson, it was obvious who he was going to be rooting for that night; his son, number 22 was Lugoff-Elgin's starting defensive back.
Speaking with SGT Hudson prior to kick-off, he mentioned how his son told him before he walked out the door that morning that he would be getting an interception in tonight's game. And sure enough, one of the first turnovers in the game came from number 22 picking off a pass.
Unfortunately for the Demon faithful that would be one of only a few moments to celebrate as Camden soundly beat Lugoff-Elgin. At the conclusion of the game, Coach Neal gave the senior members of team the honor of accepting the trophy. There could have been no better feeling for SFC Jackson, a Camden alum himself, than handing the Army National Guard Rivalry Trophy over to his alma mater.
Check out the highlight video from game day below:
To experience more of the Lugoff-Elgin vs Camden rivalry, visit their dedicated rivalry page on the MaxPrep Rivalry Series site
. To follow the entire
series (or request that your school be included for next year), visit