Exeter, Lindsay square off in first ‘Orange Crate’ game

Highway 65 is alive with a new rivalry. Yes, there has always been Woodlake versus Exeter and Strathmore versus Lindsay - and there always will be! But no two towns and football teams share more common threads than Exeter and Lindsay.

Both communities are on the rise with exciting new projects. Their murals are only surpassed by each other in the Central Valley and both are becoming cultural centers. Both cities have outstanding schools. And, more importantly for the purpose of this article, both cities have a long tradition of hard-hitting, game-breaking football teams. While both teams have seen their ups and downs during the course of recent seasons, both are resilient programs that always find a way.

Exeter has seen a dramatic turnaround under new coach Robert Dougherty's wide open offense following a hopeless 1-9 season just last year, with the only win being a disqualification. However, the Monarchs are coming off a devastating loss against a tough Orosi squad. The loss drops Exeter to 1-2 in league - leaving them in fourth place. There is still much optimism surrounding the future of the program, but a loss against Lindsay could diminish some of the team's accomplishments.

The Lindsay Cardinals are a team in transition. Just two seasons removed from a 2001 Valley Title, the Lindsay Cardinals are experiencing the growing pains of going first to worst. At 3-5 overall the Cardinals are winless in league and a desperate team looking for a league win to turn around their season.

The Exeter Sun and Lindsay Gazette newspapers proudly present the first installment of the Exeter vs. Lindsay game. Following the game each year, the winner of the contest will be presented with The Orange Crate - a wooden trophy that embodies the agricultural roots of America's Orange Belt and two cities growing toward a brighter future.

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