Rod Shafer and Kelly Scott have a funny relationship. The head coaches at Warner and Webber are great friends.
LAKE WALES — Rod Shafer and Kelly Scott have a funny relationship.
The head football coaches at Warner and Webber International are great friends.
They’ve known each other since their days coaching high school football in Indiana — Shafer at Terre Haute South and Scott at Indianapolis Cathedral. When Shafer came to Florida and took over as the head coach at Lake Wales, he hired Scott as his defensive coordinator.
They host camps and hang out. They talk all of the time during the offseason. They're buddies.
But, when football season rolls around, that friendship takes a bit of a back seat. They may talk 3-4 times all season. Both are madly competitive. It doesn’t matter who wins when their teams face off; one will walk off the field angry and the other will walk away with an ear-to-ear grin.
It’s the rivalry inside the rivalry as Shafer's Warner team and Scott's Webber squad meet on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“Kelly’s my buddy forever,” Shafer said. “Now, we want to beat each other to death and we did when we were in Terre Haute. One thing that will happen is next week, Kelly and I will play golf. So, it doesn't matter.”
Though both teams have underachieved this season, the Lake Caloosa Clash always means something. The football rivalry has only existed since Warner played its first season in 2013.
Webber cruised to a 23-0 win in that inaugural game, but the teams have alternated wins since.
Warner pulled a wild upset over Webber in a rain-soaked game during Shafer’s first season. The Warriors returned the favor the following year after Warner missed a game-tying field goal as time expired.
Even last year’s game, a 30-21 win for Warner, was close to the end.
“Rod and I have been business partners for 30 years, it is what it is,” Scott said. “He’s a good guy, but we’re competitive, I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is. That’s the way we were brought up.”
This will be the seventh time they’ve met as opponents on the football field. Scott, as the defensive coordinator at Cathedral, finished 2-1 against Shafer in the Indiana days. The latter has gone 2-1 since they’ve battled at the collegiate level.
That makes Saturday an unofficial tiebreaker for the Shafer-Scott rivalry.
But neither coach is one to make this game about that.
It’s a chance for two teams to end disappointing seasons on a high note. It won’t have an impact on the conference race. Those seniors will watch their football careers end on Saturday but, luckily, they’ll go out with a game against their bitter rivals.
Scott said it best: “You want to win every game you play.”
“Believe it or not, our guys have been excited for every game,” he said. “The whole attitude is you get so few chances to play this game in your life. You better relish every one you get.”
Brady Fredericksen can be reached at email@example.com or 863-802-7553. Follow him on Twitter: @Brady_Fred.