By Dave Ongie
The week leading up to a big rivalry game is traditionally known as “Hate Week.”
It’s no different each year for the student bodies at David Crockett and Daniel Boone, who ramp up the rhetoric and kick their school spirit into overdrive in the week leading up to the Musket Bowl. With both schools off to fast starts and major playoff implications hanging on the outcome of last Friday’s game, the rivalry seemed primed to reach a fevered pitch.
But much of that was defused the Sunday before the Musket Bowl when “Hate Week” was kicked off with an act of love.
“I was getting ready to go to church, and there were a few things that popped up on Twitter about our kids already starting to call it Hate Week, and I thought, you know, that’s not appropriate to start with, but especially not with what’s going on right now,” said Daniel Boone athletic director Danny Good. “Those guys down there (at Crockett) work hard just like we do, and I think there’s a level of respect you’ve got to show to your opponents and your fellow citizens, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
As Good contemplated his response, he thought about the way the Crockett community had treated the Boone community recently during times of tragedy. A rash of fatal car accidents last school year shook Daniel Boone High School to its core, and each time, students, parents, teachers, coaches and staff members from Crockett put the rivalry aside to provide comfort and support.
Given the recent turmoil at Crockett, Good wanted to return the favor.
“When we were going through our tough times, they reached out to us,” Good said. “I’m not getting into the politics of it or the right or wrong of it. It’s none of my business. But those student-athletes down there – we’re just trying to show our respect to them because they did it for us. It’s the right thing to do.”
So Good took to Twitter to set the tone for the students of Boone as they prepared for Friday’s Musket Bowl.
“This past year and a half, the Boone community has gone through some trying times,” Good wrote. “Crockett’s support was overwhelming to the school and community. We still have a banner hanging in the gym that they sent us. Even though the circumstances are not the same, they are going through a trying time as a community. Let’s show them our support this week! We will compete on the field on Friday.”
When John Good saw Danny Good’s words pop up on his Twitter timeline, he said he was amazed. The two men competed against each other in high school. John Good was a basketball player at Science Hill while Danny Good competed for Boone. While they were fierce competitors during their playing days and remain highly competitive to this day, they also share a mutual respect that transcends competition.
John Good was named the interim athletic director at Crockett during the recent upheaval in the athletic department. During that transition, Danny Good – a longtime AD at Boone – was there to offer advice and support.
“Danny and myself go way back,” John Good said. “We competed against each other and have actually been in contact with each other through the whole process. He’s reached out to me and offered anything he could do to help, anything for our kids, anything to make it a smooth transition.”
John Good likens the relationship between Boone and Crockett to a brotherhood. Both schools are populated with residents of Washington County, which creates a strong tie between the two communities.
“It’s kind of like brothers,” John Good said. “You fight over who gets the remote and who gets the last hamburger. But nobody else can come in there and fight with your brother.”
Since becoming the head basketball coach at Crockett, John Good said he’s developed a great relationship with Chris Brown, the boys basketball coach at Boone. After the Pioneers and Trailblazers had a postgame skirmish following the Musket Bowl in 2014, John Good and Chris Brown worked together to help the two schools mend fences.
“We transitioned through there and we supported each other,” John Good said. “We’ve supported each other through far more tragic events, such as young people losing their lives. It just shows the amount of love and respect we have for each other.”
Thanks to the tone that was set by Danny Good, last Friday’s Musket Bowl turned into a celebration of Washington County, but that’s not to say the competition wasn’t fierce once the game kicked off. The two schools treated an overflow crowd at Nathan Hale Stadium to a rock-’em, sock-’em contest that ended with a 28-21 victory for the Trailblazers.
After the final horn sounded, Danny and John Good shook hands.
“I do understand when we kick it off or we tip it up or we throw out the first pitch, it’s going to be a battle, a rivalry,” John Good said. “But after all the dust has settled, we can go back to being brothers and supporters of each other.”