Battle of the Bridge: A Rivalry as Natural as the Red River


Halfway between Texarkana and Hope, Arkansas, stands the iconic Red River Bridge. On Friday night, October 26 the “Battle of the Bridge” rivalry, sponsored by the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT), will be inaugurated between Arkansas High School and Hope High School. “Everyone at the College is excited to watch the new rivalry between the Razorbacks and the Bobcats,” said Chris Thomason, UAHT Chancellor. “As two of our greatest partners, we celebrate all the great traditions of these two tremendous school districts. UAHT will be in the stands with both of these communities cheering on our student-athletes.”

Both of these schools have storied football programs and have scrimmaged against each other for over twenty years, but for the first time in history they will find themselves doing battle on the gridiron as members of the same conference. “We are excited about competing against the Hope Bobcats,” said Barry Norton, Arkansas High Head Football Coach. “This game should be a great rivalry and will impact conference standings each year. We look forward to what should be a long, fun series.”

“Both of our schools have storied football programs with a lot of talented players who have graced the school colors,” said Phillip Turner, Hope High Head Football Coach. “As a graduate Hope High School, Arkansas High has never been a rival to us. They’ve always been a team we admired from a distance due to the success they always had on the field. As a young head coach trying to lay my foundation here in Hope, I look at this game as an important conference game versus a very good opponent. This game should be great for both schools and our communities, and we look forward to what should be a very exciting series. Hopefully, a new rivalry will be born.”

To make this rivalry one-of-a-kind, UAHT commissioned local metal artist, Bobby Brinkmeyer, to create a replica of the old Red River Bridge to be awarded as a traveling trophy that will go home with the winner of the “Battle of the Bridge” each year. The only issue left to be determined is which side of the bridge the trophy will land on for the first time.

Everyone at UAHT invites the Hope and Texarkana communities to join us in celebrating history in the making as this new rivalry kicks off Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at Hammons Stadium in Hope, AR.

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