Queen City clash: Selma High hosts Southside

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Selma High School and Southside High School are separated by 12 miles and the Edmund-Pettus Bridge.

The Queen City’s biggest rivalry resumes Friday night at Selma High Gymnasium. It’s the first meeting between the two teams this season. The girls’ game will tipoff between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ clash.

Selma coach Ronald Lane said records are meaningless whenever the two teams clash. The Saints are 7-6, while the Panthers enter with a 3-6 mark.

Email newsletter signup

“Southside is a big game for both sides,” Lane said. “The kids grew up together. So many of us do a lot of things together.”

Southside coach Lenord Jones said it’s always tough to face the Saints. Jones and Lane were basketball teammates at Selma High in 1982.

“It’s not easy playing against Selma High,” Jones said. “It’s very competitive and it’s kind of difficult.”

Lane downplays the rivalry because both high schools are big parts of the Selma School System. 

“Even though we compete against each other, I don’t see it as a rivalry,” Lane said. “Whenever Selma and Southside aren’t playing against each other, we’re always pulling for each other. Coach Jones and I talk on a constant basis. The Selma-Southside game is symbolic to the community coming together.”

Jones said the Panthers-Saints contests always unite the city.

“It’s two community teams going against each other,” Jones said. “We always root for each other when we’re not playing. We’re always helping each other out. This game brings the Southside and Selma communities together.”

Before the game, a moment of silence will take place for former Southside High standout Rodney Stevens, who died on Dec. 4. Stevens was the Class 5A state player of the year in 1986 and led Southside to its only state title in 1985. Stevens, 51, graduated from Southside in 1986.

“We grew up with Rodney Stevens,” Lane said. “He was a part of the Selma school system in junior high, then played for Southside High.”