The Battle of the Ravine, Ouachita Baptist University’s 101-year-old rivalry football game against Henderson State University will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. Ouachita faculty, staff and students will be upping their school spirit by hosting several events beginning Monday, Nov. 2, to celebrate the long-standing rivalry.
“This year is a big game,” football Head Coach Todd Knight said. “Our record is 38-38-7, so it’s a tiebreaking game. We hope to get in there and take care of business.”
Football won’t be the only competition between Ouachita and Henderson that week. Tim Harrell, OBU’s director of campus activities, is assisting with a school-wide food drive competition against Henderson in support of the Southwest Arkansas Food Bank.
“It’ll be a competition between the two campuses,” Harrell said, “and we are taking it to the students. We’re going to try to motivate them to beat Henderson with donations.”
The food drive will be part of a larger effort to simultaneously unite the campus in preparation for the big game as well as involve everyone in an effort to donate to a worthy cause. Donation bins will be set up throughout campus. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to donate much-needed food items such as canned meats, canned vegetables, boxed pastas, rice and peanut butter. Alumni and friends can bring canned goods to the tailgate party on Saturday, November 7, beginning at 10 a.m.
“It’s a really good cause, and I really believe that the students will get behind it and make it fun and just start donating,” Harrell said. “It’s not a competition between organizations or clubs–we’re trying to unify different groups on campus. We want them to realize that they serve the campus and the community, and that’s one of the ways that we’re trying to help them do that.”
Students are also a large part of the effort to unite the campus. Rho Sigma men’s social club will be out in full force to host events throughout Battle of the Ravine week.
“We’re going to be on campus all week with events for most of those days,” said Chris Hardman, senior physics major and president of Rho Sigma.
“Usually, we try to find something to involve the whole student body in order to get them pumped and excited,” he said. “This year, we’ll have jump around inflatables in the middle of campus for the students, a watermelon or pumpkin smashing and we’re also trying to get a video game tournament together.” Also, the men of Rho Sigma will host a torch carrying to a bonfire pep rally at the intramural fields the Thursday night before the Battle of the Ravine.
Hardman said the men of Rho Sigma are dedicated to Ouachita’s school spirit, especially during Battle of the Ravine week.
“They’re our events- we take pride in them. It’s like us taking pride in Ouachita. It’s just what we do.”
The day of the Battle of the Ravine will have activities leading up to the game, as well. Lauren Land, internal director of alumni, and Chris Babb, development officer and external director of alumni, along with other Ouachita staff, have been coordinating events for the day of the game. There will be a joint tailgate party on the Henderson intramural field. The band will perform in the pre-game pep rally, and there will be tents set up with food and activities. The tailgate is from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and kick-off is at 1:30 p.m.
“It’s a neat thing because there is definitely a rivalry,” Land said, “but it’s also neat because it brings the whole community together and brings so much energy to the city.”
“For our students, the Battle of the Ravine is more than a football game,” Babb said, “and, thanks to their leadership, the traditions grow more each year.”
By Hannah Clayton