Why a rivalry with The Citadel means so much to Charleston Southern
NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Charleston Southern's football team has already made history in 2015.
First outright Big South title, highest national ranking ever, first trip to the FCS National Playoffs, first ever home playoff game.
This weekend, they face Lowcountry rival The Citadel...for a second time this season.
And the Buccaneers say their recent success against the Bulldogs is a reason for their overall success.
"There's probably not a chance we are ever going to play again. At least while I'm here.
We win more games here than they do here. So it's like a home game for us. But we deserve home and home.
Why not have this game? Why not? They will beat us eventually. Why not have this game?"
That was Charleston Southern head coach Jamey Chadwell right after the Buccaneers' win at The Citadel in late September.
It was the last scheduled meeting between the local programs for the foreseeable future.
He used a broom as their championship trophy for that game.
It symbolized a three-game sweep by Chadwell against the The Cid...and highlighted the frustration he and the CSU community felt about the Military College not wanting to play at Buccaneer Field.
Chadwell admitted, "Coach Chadwell could've probably handled it better. But I'm not going to take back why we did what we did with it. I've said it from the get-go. Our motivation has nothing to do with their program. It's stuff we are trying to accomplish."
The broom, and words used by Chadwell fired up The Citadel's fan base, and probably the team, too.
So CSU has to prepare for a hungry bunch of Bulldogs on Saturday.
"We know we talked a lot when we left there, " redshirt-senior wide receiver Nathan Perera said. "And that's definitely more motivation for them. And we know that. But that doesn't mean we're not going to be fired up, either."
Chadwell added, "Coach Chadwell got his wish with them coming up here. So there's a lot of storylines outside the game. And that's nice, too."
Maybe Chadwell has become the lightning rod in this series.
He's okay with that.
As long as the matchup grows in meaning, and his team gains more respect around the area and country
"I've tried my best to stoke the fire," Chadwell confessed. "And now maybe it is a rivalry. I hope it is. But when I got here there was no rivalry at all."
"I think Coach Chadwell does it kind of to get more attention outside, too, " junior wide Colton Korn said. "I think The Citadel respects us. I think they know we are a good football team, especially the last couple of years. But we are trying to get a little more attention nationally. "
In fact, Chadwell believes The Citadel is CSU's biggest rival...bigger than Big South opponents Coastal Carolina and Liberty.
And there is a purpose behind that belief.
"I want people in this city and this community to realize we are a good program," Chadwell continued. "And so we made them the number one. And if we can beat them consistently and prove we are on an even field or maybe better, then that would pay dividends down the road for what we are trying to accomplish."
Perera - "Oh I think without a doubt this is bigger than league (games) because we see them around town. We see people wearing their stuff on our campus, which we hate."
Korn - "I think we've earned our right to kind of pat ourselves on the back in this city. But we continue to work to build it every year."
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