Endless memories: Players, coaches look back on 100 years

Former Douglas High School football head coach Ernie Monfiletto high fives a Douglas player during a game.

Former Douglas High School football head coach Ernie Monfiletto high fives a Douglas player during a game.
File photo

Everyone has a story.

They all remember their first introduction to the century-long Carson-Douglas rivalry.

It didn’t matter when they were introduced to it. It has remained historic.

The memories for those who participated in The Rivalry don’t fade with time.

Both teams could be the easiest matchup of the season and it wouldn’t matter.

Everyone has The Rivalry Game circled.


Check out just a small sample of Carson-Douglas memories …

• In 2009, The Rivalry Game decided a league championship.

“We had never beaten them, so there was all this pressure to beat them and see how good we were,” said Carson defensive coordinator Justin Barlow, who was a senior with the Senators in 2009. “Every week we were checking where Douglas was at in the standings. … We were doing ‘beat Douglas’ workouts; anything like that.”

• Longtime Douglas coach Mike Rippee takes pride in the fact that his son Luke bested Carson three of four times.

• Carson assistant coach Adam Domitrovich has still yet to lose to the Tigers in his playing days or on the sideline with a headset.

• In 2012, USA Today put up the Carson-Douglas rivalry up for potential national recognition.

• “The Douglas games were always fun," said John Sullivan in a 2001 story while being inducted into the Carson athletics Hall of Fame. "There wasn't any animosity between us because we knew all those boys and they knew us. Like all of us were in 4H, so we all went to 4H camp with everybody. That made it fun."

And there are memories with some animosity, if you ask other folks.

• Bob Bateman recounted a story in which the Senators were winning by such a margin that after marching down to the Tiger 4-yard line, Carson chose to punt the ball out of the stadium as a final blow.

 “There are just so many memorable games,” he said.

• Carson’s C-Hill has been changed to a ‘D.’

• The Tiger field has been vandalized with “CARSON” painted on it.

• There have been points in the history of the series where the Senators’ faithful felt confident enough to predict the outcome ahead of time.

• Many refer to it as a one-game season when the two squads meet. Emotions are at a fever pitch and nobody ever wants to lose.

(Carson High School graduate and assistant coach Adam Domitrovich / File photo)


“Overall, the players and how much emotion and pride they took on both sides; how much it meant to both teams,” said former Carson coach Blair Roman, who has been on both sides of The Rivalry. “My favorite memory was the last one I got to coach in 2021, being fortunate to go out on top 17-15. It’s not easy to do and that ’21 team meant a lot to me, personally.”

Other coaches have felt the same.

“It's an unbelievable rivalry because of the closeness (of the schools) and the people over the years," said the late Shane Quilling in 2004 when he was coaching Carson. “In the last 17-18 years, it's intensified. It’s a great rivalry and we’re all great friends.”

That same season, the game was played at Bishop Manogue because Douglas’ field wasn’t playable.

Look back through any story from previous meetings and the players will tell the same tale.

“This was probably one of the greatest feelings of my life," said Nico Barker in 2008, while playing as a Tiger cornerback.

For former Douglas head coach Ernie Monfiletto, it’s harder to recall the wins versus the losses.

The game simply meant that much.

“The ones that stand out to me are the ones we didn’t win. Which is kind of a sad statement, because you don’t hold onto the positives, but you can remember the missed field goals or the last-second victories by the guys in blue,” said Monfiletto.

Even though Monfiletto has left town, his connections to The Rivalry still play in his mind.

“I still have a T-shirt that says, ‘Beat Carson.’ I’ve had it since 1999,” Monfiletto said. “I put it on last year for game day and I’ll put it on this year. This game still means a lot to me as a ex-coach and community member.”

2023 will be another chance to write the history books in The Rivalry.

As the 100th anniversary of the first meeting, players in this year’s game will have their own stories to pass down to future generations.


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