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Hanover-Delone football rivalry spans generations

Location, location, location; the three Ls are important for buying a home and even more important for a good rivalry.

That's what has developed over several decades between Hanover High School and Delone Catholic High School on the football field. The stadiums sit about three miles apart, and one gets the feeling neither fan base is fond of the other.

"There's a lot of words and all this and all that going on between the two teams," said Devon Mede, a junior at Hanover High School. "It makes me a little mad thinking about them, I don't really know how else to explain it."

Even more was at stake for the final week of the YAIAA regular season. The Nighthawks went into Friday needing a win to clinch their first share of a division title in over a decade. The Squires needed a win to finish the season with a .500 record and to keep their Class A playoff hopes alive. In the end, it was Hanover that was triumphant, winning 45-20.

"To finish 9-1 and get the division, it'd feel great, I'm pretty sure everyone would like to see that happen, especially against Delone," Mede said.

Location is the biggest reason why Hanover and Delone Catholic are rivals, said Alex Kirk, a junior at Hanover High School. With both schools in such close proximity, it's only natural that a rivalry develops, he said.

"I don't know any other word to describe it other than rivalry," Kirk said. "Everyone is so into this. This is probably the biggest game of the season for us just because it's them."

The rivalry of the two schools isn't a recent one. Tom Klunk, a 1978 graduate of Hanover High School, remembers how much he disliked the Squires even back then, he said.

Delone Catholic was pretty dominant over Hanover in the 70s, which actually made the taste of victory even sweeter, Klunk said. Now, the tables have turned and Hanover can celebrate a division title against an opponent who used to do that regularly to them, Klunk said.

"Beating them and clinching is just the icing on the cake to a great season," he said.

Klunk gearing up for the game all these years later is further proof that this rivalry spans through generations of students.

"If we beat them and lose the rest of the games during the season, it's a good season for us," he said. "Now that's a rivalry."