One of the many things that makes high school sports such a compelling form of entertainment for us fans is the rivalries that have evolved over the years.

Having attended West Pike High School, I grew up with the sometimes less than friendly rivalry with Barry. Now, of course, the two schools have consolidated to become Western High.

Then, during my early radio days in Pittsfield, the Pittsfield Saukees had a heated rivalry with Quincy Notre Dame. The yearly match-ups between the two teams had to be called off because of some less than sportsmanlike conduct.

One of the area's biggest rivalries, though, is the continuing rivalry between Palmyra and Monroe City. From my days in Monroe City in the 90s, I got the idea that this rivalry was a little less acrimonious, but no less spirited.

When I think of Monroe City-Palmyra, I think of the 1996 football season. We knew going into the season that both teams would be among the elite in Class 2 in Missouri. The two teams met in early October in Monroe City, both undefeated. Palmyra dominated that night, knocking off Monroe City in decisive fashion.

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The two teams were not in the same district, so they would not meet again until well into the postseason. That collision course led to a Monday night in Palmyra, as the two sets of Panthers met in the state quarterfinals.

Although the experts expected Palmyra to dominate again, this was a very different story. The result was a classic battle, ending with Monroe City moving on with a 14-13 win.

Monroe City went on to an overtime win over John Burroughs in the semi-final game, and a shutout win against Springfield Catholic in  the state championship.