What defines a great rivalry?
A long history and a five-minute walk between two schools?
A rivalry so deep that, even with states separating the teams, fans from both loathe each other’s presence?
Well, it’s not the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox, but the Eastern Eagles against the Cabrini Cavaliers. When these two teams meet, no matter what field it is on, it is said to be more than just a game.
Eastern plays Cabrini in a few sports, but the most heated matchups is on the basketball court. Last year’s thrilling double-overtime loss was just a roadblock in the way for the Eagles to win the bragging rights of Eagle Road for the year.
Head Basketball Coach Matt Nadelhoffer said this long-term rivalry with Cabrini has existed for 25 years.
The Eagles were 2-19 before Coach Nadelhoffer took his spot at the helm. Since then, the team has been 5-7 against the Cavaliers.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to be competitive with Cabrini because of their tradition and history at the Division III level and Philadelphia area,” Nadelhoffer said. “It’s fun for our players and student community, but to me it’s just another game.”
Coach Nadelhoffer also said that Radnor Township donated a street sign for “The Battle of Eagle Road.” That sign is at Cabrini and he would like to bring it back to Eastern.
Senior Captain Chris Myers has been a part of the tradition for years now.
“Last year’s loss was a tough one to swallow, but I believe it truly exemplifies how great the rivalry has been through the years,” Myers said.
“The rivalry is so unique because, as a team, we could literally walk and be at their gym in five minutes, so it truly shows who rules the streets in Wayne, Pa.,” he said.
Judging Myers’ high spirits, you can be certain that this year’s game will be no less intense than those of years past.
This year Eastern gets to host the big match on Jan. 27 in the main gym. The game begins at 7 p.m.
So, to witness two schools with a lot of history go at it once again, make sure to come to Eastern’s gym early, wear white, and bring your voices.
Eastern will be on a mission to start the decade as the “King of Eagle Road.”