Inaugural ‘Junction Bowl’ to refuel Roseville-Woodcreek rivalryBy: Cameron Salerno
ROSEVILLE– When Woodcreek and Roseville take the field Friday night for the 19th time overall in their history – and for the first time in five years – much more will be on the line than just a victory and bragging rights for who owns the city.
With the two schools being renewed rivals in the Capital Valley Conference, at least for the next four years, the newly renamed rivalry game is being called “The Junction Bowl” in honor of Roseville’s historic railroad work, with the winner receiving a “Golden Spike” perennial plaque.
Despite only 4 miles separating the two schools, the rivalry historically has taken a one-way direction.
Roseville (2-2) holds a 15-3 record over Woodcreek (4-0) in the all-time series and will look to pick up its biggest win of the season after dropping the past two games. Roseville won the first ever meeting with Woodcreek in 1995.
“The history of this rivalry favors us, 15-3, but history won’t matter Friday night and going forward,” Roseville head coach Larry Cunha said.
Friday night will be a chance for Woodcreek to avenge to 38-35 loss sustained to Roseville in 2013. Also, with a win, the Timberwolves would start 5-0 for the first time in school history.
“This game is huge,” Woodcreek co-head coach Brad Hunkins confessed. “The last time this game was played was in 2013, the year Roseville was set to leave the (Sierra Foothill League). The last time these schools played, I had never seen an atmosphere like it, and I think this game will mean a lot to both communities.”
The last time these two clubs played was Nov. 8, 2013. On a cold November night, Roseville escaped with a 38-35 victory on a late defensive stand. One thing that has changed from that night to the present day is Hunkins switching from the defensive coordinator at Roseville to the co-head coach at Woodcreek.
“I don’t think much will be different rather than the colors of the uniforms and the kids I’m coaching,” Hunkins confessed. “It is going to be a loud and exciting atmosphere just like it was in 2013 when I was at Roseville.”
One variable that hasn’t changed is who is under leadership for the Tigers. Cunha has coached in all 18 games versus Woodcreek, and Roseville will lean on his knowledge of the Timberwolves Friday night.
“I have experienced a lot of wins (versus Woodcreek) and three painful defeats,” Cunha said. “The good and bad thing about a rivalry game like this, is you live with the outcome for the whole year, good or bad.”
The long-awaited renewal of this rivalry commences Friday night at Woodcreek High, where it should be a packed house. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m.