But the Moore War is still woven into the fabric of the community. And never has it been quite as important as it will be Friday night. For the players and coaches, there's still a game to be won, and bragging rights up for grabs. But they know the game means a little more this year.
“This game will mean a lot,” Westmoore coach Billy Langford said. “People will get a chance to see their friends' faces and check on them and make sure they're doing well.”
The game will be the central focus Friday night. But before and after the game, at halftime and in between plays, conversations will turn to the community. Friends and family. Those who've received help, and those who still need it.
“The people around here are just looking for something positive to hang their hat on,” Franks said. “It'll give us an opportunity to start the school year out with something that the kids and the people in our community can really get involved in. I think the community is just looking for something that will give them a positive direction, and something they can look forward to.”
The term “rivalry” doesn't immediately trigger thoughts of unity, but outside the white lines of the football field, that's exactly what this year's Moore War will do. It's a positive and uplifting event in a community that deserves all the good vibes it can get.
“These are the kinds of events that bring people together,” Noles said. “I've been so impressed with how this community has supported one another. As many bad things that happened, there have been some truly great things. This'll be another example of that.
“There will be a lot of things said about the football game, and the band performances and how the cheer and pom squads did. But there will also be lots of stories told about ‘where were you when ...'
“It really will be a unifying event for the community. It's gonna be a great night.”