High school football in central Minnesota is a big deal, and when two rival teams come together on one field, winning the game is no longer a want, it's a need. I graduated from St. Cloud Tech and was always a football fan. I even traveled with my friends to every away game, cheering on our team whether they won or lost. Out of the countless games I attended, it's the Friday nights when Tech played Apollo that are most memorable. Rivalry is something you can feel. Every kick, snap, run, punt...matters more in that game, at that moment than anything else. I realize Tech and Apollo aren't the only rival teams in the area, so I came up with my top five match-ups, check them out!

(Football helmet artwork is from the Minnesota High School Helmet Project.)

  • 1

    St. Cloud Tech vs St. Cloud Apollo

    Tech high school opened in 1917 and remained the only public high school in the St. Cloud area until Apollo opened on the other side of town in 1970. Two schools competing for the attention of one town creates a rivalry quickly. It's no secret that Tech usually out-shines Apollo in stats, which would make sense considering Tech has beaten Apollo in all but one game (in 2003) since 1999.

    Minnesota High School Helmet Project
  • 2

    Sartell vs Sauk Rapids

    Both Sartell and Sauk Rapids are suburbs of St. Cloud. Sauk Rapids/Rice high school opened in 1908 and the relatively new community of Sartell didn't open a high school until 1993. Even though the Sartell Sabers are 'the new kid in town' they were practically instant rivals with the Sauk Rapids Storm football team. Since 2004 Sartell has played Sauk Rapids 12 times, of those, they have won 8. Looks like Sartell holds the bragging rights, for now.

    Minnesota High School Helmet Project
  • 3

    Albany vs Melrose

    These two teams are rivals by geography. Melrose and Albany are neighboring cities in central Minnesota. Albany has been the reigning champ in this match-up, winning every game since 2004. But in a rivalry game, record doesn't matter, every time they meet it feels like they are playing for the state title.

    Minnesota High School Helmet Project
  • 4

    Foley vs Milaca

    Foley has prevailed as the better team, at least over the past four years, winning 3 out of the last four games. There are a lot of family relations between these two teams, which always makes for a good game.

    Minnesota High School Helmet Project
  • 5

    St. Cloud Tech vs Brainerd

    Tech and Apollo are cross-town rivals, but Tech and Brainerd are rivals that give each other a challenge. Since 2005 Tech's record against Brainerd is 6-5. I'm not sure when or why this rivalry began, but it's always a game worth watching!

    Minnesota High School Helmet Project