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Elizabethton, Science Hill gridiron rivalry to adopt new name


For decades, Elizabethton High School and Science Hill High School have met on the gridiron during the first week of the football season for what is always a highly contested rivalry matchup.

But starting in 2021, the much anticipated contest will change in several ways. For starters, the inaugural game of the season for both teams will be held at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium on the campus of East Tennessee State University.

Along with the new venue, Bank of Tennessee and a division of the bank, Carter County Bank, have adopted the game and given it a name to raise the stakes when August 20 comes around.

A press conference was held on Monday afternoon at the Bank of Tennessee in Johnson City to discuss the name and a few other important things in the week leading up to the big matchup.

Jennifer Greenwell, Public Relations and Event Manager for Bank of Tennessee and their branches, opened by expressing just how much football in East Tennessee means, saying, “Football is a way of life here in the south, and there is always something magical about Friday night football in Tennessee.

“Elizabethton and Science Hill have had a wonderful rivalry for almost 100 years, and because of that we decided to beef things up a little bit.”

The name for the new rivalry? The Railroad Rumble. And with the introduction of the name, Teresa Treadway from Creative Energy in Johnson City quickly explained the reason behind it.

“There is a very rich history that runs between both Elizabethton and Johnson City, a railroad. What was formerly the Tweetsie Railroad has now become the Tweetsie Trail thanks to the Rails to Trails project.

“When you think about the rumble of the train coming down the tracks, the sound builds and builds as it gets closer to its destination. It is much like that in football, where if there was no turf, you could hear the rumble of the athletes during the game.”

With all of the new hype surrounding the matchup between the two teams separated by only about 10 miles, Bank of Tennessee and Carter County Bank want to celebrate the upcoming matchup all week long.

Greenwell was brought back to the podium to explain “Spirit Week” that will take place this week at all Johnson City and Elizabethton branches of the bank.

“We are thrilled to have any fan that would like to come in and receive some school specific swag such as yard signs, pom poms, beads, and face tattoos for free.

“On game day, we will also host a community tailgate in lot 38 at ETSU. There will be food, games, music, and fun, and we encourage everyone to come out and join us starting at 5:30.”

Tickets for Friday night’s matchup are already over halfway sold out, and those who still wish to purchase tickets to the Railroad Rumble between Elizabethton and Science Hill can visit gofan.co to receive admission.