Byrd

Byrd at Battle on the Border in 2015.

SHREVEPORT, La. - Battle on the Border is nine years strong and Byrd has been in every one.

"It's been great for us to be a part of it every year. We've gotten some big wins in it. I think we've got seven of those nice trophies and its been good for us," Yellow Jackets head coach Mike Suggs explained.

The only other program that comes close is West Monroe who will play in their seventh border battle.

"Well it's a great experience for our kids," Rebels head coach Jerry Arledge said. "I heard one of the other coaches comment on how it's a class act. We're always treated extremely well. It's a win-win situation for us. Hopefully we'll win the ballgame, but we certainly look forward to it and we always play a very good opponent."

Rebels will play the Jackets and they have some history.

"We've probably played them or played against them at Byrd 25 times in the last 30 years," Suggs estimated off the top of head.

The two last played in the 2014 5A playoffs with the Rebels edging out a win, but for the first time ever the two meet in the Battle on the Border.

"Seriously we would love to work out and play them every year, but the scheduling is very hard, certainly for us and I know it is for them, but this one matches up and we're playing a very good opponent," Arledge added. "The better your opponent the more your weaknesses are going to be exposed and that's what we need before we get into district."

The Rebels hold a 21-11 record against the Jackets with Byrd's last victory coming in 2011.

"We've been fortunate enough to beat them a couple of times, but most of the time we're like everybody else," Suggs said. "But it's great to play against them because they're a great measuring tool. You know exactly where you're at. If your aspiration is to win a state championship then I've always thought you got play the guys that got the crown and a lot of years they're the ones that do it."

The Rebels and Jackets won't meet in the playoffs as in years past, but Coach Suggs said it will benefit his team in the long run.

"Just to get to line up in a showcase like this with all the talent that plays in it and the teams that we get to play each year has just been very good for our program."

Byrd and West Monroe kickoff at 5:30 p.m. Friday from Independence Stadium.

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