Ouachita Baptist University’s annual Battle of the Ravine Week kicks off Sunday, Nov. 4. After a week full of events, the Ouachita Tigers and the Henderson State University Reddies football teams will once again face each other on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. at HSU’s Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.
“The rivalry between the Tigers and Reddies is one of the most storied in all of college sports,” said Josh Fink, Ouachita’s sports information director. “It dates all the way back to 1895, and, along with being the oldest in the country, it has to be the most competitive as well.
“Having such an intense rivalry coupled with the fact that when we play there are conference implications, it always makes it a fun and competitive environment,” Fink added.
“Outside of homecoming week, this is arguably one of the biggest weeks for Ouachita,” said Justin Young, Ouachita’s Student Senate president and a junior business administration and management major from Springdale, Ark. “This is one of my favorite weeks of the year because it is all based around tradition.”
To kick off the week, Campus Activities will show The Dark Knight Rises Sunday, Nov. 4, at 8:30 p.m. in Walker Conference Center.
In hopes of making it a lasting tradition, Student Senate is continuing with the “Keep Calm and Guard On” campaign they began last year. As a play on the British propaganda poster to “Keep Calm and Carry On,” each class is encouraged to defend Ouachita’s tiger statues from mischievous Reddies on their assigned night. The class of 2015 will guard on Monday, Nov. 5; the class of 2014 on Tuesday, Nov. 6; the class of 2016 on Wednesday, Nov. 7; the class of 2013 on Thursday, Nov. 8; and the entire campus, led by the men of Rho Sigma, will guard the tiger on Friday, Nov. 9.
Also throughout the week, Student Senate will sponsor a campus-wide spirit week. “Each day will be a different dress-up day, in which the winners are awarded money,” Young said. “The goal is to increase the build-up to the game on Saturday.”
Sodexo will host a “Battle of the Dorms” food drive to help collect food for families in need in the community throughout the week. “Each dorm has a drop-off point on campus for their food,” said Ally Huffman, assistant marketing director of Sodexo and a junior early childhood education major from Aubrey, Texas. “As a community, Ouachita strives to serve others and Sodexo does their best to help serve the community whenever possible.”
On Thursday evening, Nov. 8, the men of Rho Sigma will host their annual torch walk from the tiger statue to a bonfire near the intramural fields. Students will receive wooden torches and the men of Rho Sigma will light them before they make the trek to the bonfire. “It looks like a river of fire,” said Hein Hillmer, social chair for Rho Sigma and a junior mass communications major from South Africa. When students reach the bonfire, “they throw their torches onto a massive pile of wood that lights up and burns brightly,” Hillmer added.
Also on Thursday, Refuge will be held at Second Baptist Church at 9 p.m.
The men of Rho Sigma will host their traditional all night bell-ringing Friday, Nov. 9. They will set up a tent by the tiger statue with couches, food and gaming consoles. Students are invited to join the fun while they ring the bell every hour, on the hour for 24 hours prior to the big game. Additionally, other campus clubs and organizations will host a variety of activities for students throughout the week.
Before and after the game on Saturday, there will be a Battle of the Ravine Rally. Hosted by a committee of community volunteers each year, the rally is a partnership between both universities. Starting at 8 a.m., there will be a Junior Auxiliary 5K Run through both campuses. At 9 a.m., Southern Bancorp will host the Andy Allison Super Kids Run and the American Heart Association will host their Heart Chase. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be free carnival rides, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, face painting, a photo booth and more. Sodexo will host tailgating food services for Ouachita students and fans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. After the game, there will be a block party with food and live music hosted by Slim & Shorty’s restaurant.
“What I personally love about the Battle of the Ravine Rally is that it brings the entire community together to promote Arkadelphia’s most unique tradition—the Battle of the Ravine football game,” said Lauren Land, Ouachita’s director of career services and a member of the Rally committee. “Whether you cheer for the Tigers or the Reddies, everyone can get behind the Rally and celebrate what makes Arkadelphia so special.”
Students and area residents can follow the Battle of the Ravine Rally on Facebook and @downtowndelph on Twitter for up-to-date details before and during the rally.
For more information about Ouachita’s Battle of the Ravine events, contact Dr. Kevin Motl at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5512.
By Ryleigh Salmon