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Brookwood-Parkview rivalry game is still a big one

The game of the state so far this season is being played at North Gwinnett tonight, but there's also a pretty big one going on in Snellville.

Even if not much is at stake.

Brookwood hosts Parkview tonight in the annual Five Forks-Trickum rivalry, a game that means little to the standings but always is huge in terms of community bragging rights.

"(Norcross and North) are both undefeated and they're playing for their region title, you can't take that away from them," Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. "That's a big game, but there's a lot of history in this (Brookwood-Parkview) game, too. We've been around awhile. Our rivalry goes back a long way. We just played each other in the state championship game a few years ago.

"There are still a lot of people who look forward to this game being at the end of the season. The playoff picture is already settled so it takes some of the significance off this year's game. But it doesn't take any luster off the rivalry. It's still what they call 'The Battle of Five Forks-Trickum.'"

Usually, this game has region title implications. Back in 2002, the state title was on the line when the two teams played. They also met in the state quarterfinals in 1996.

But this year's game won't decide much.

Brookwood, 7-2 overall and 6-0 in Region 8-AAAAA, already has the region title and a No. 1 seed for the state playoffs locked up. Winning or losing tonight doesn't change the Broncos' postseason fate, it just would give their rival down Five Forks-Trickum Road the precious bragging rights.

Parkview's playoff future, win or lose vs. Brookwood, hinges mostly on tonight's Grayson-Berkmar game. But in any scenario, the 5-4 Panthers will be a No. 3 or No. 4 seed and on the road in the state playoffs.

Sure the teams' records aren't typical this season, but the atmosphere in Snellville should be as exciting as always when the two foes meet.

"It's still Brookwood-Parkview," Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said. "It's always a neighborhood rivalry game. It doesn't have as much impact in the standings because the decisions (on the playoffs) are all made. It's usually for the region championship, but not this year. That's not by anything they did, it's what we did."

Parkview's season hasn't been up to its usual high standards, a young lineup and inexperienced linemen playing big parts in the 5-4 record. Flowe's first two Parkview teams were 8-2 and 8-4 in 1993 and 1994, but 11 of his next 12 Parkview teams won at least 10 games. The other, the 1998 group, went 9-4.

Flowe's team is playing tonight to ensure a winning record this season, but Crews said his players aren't taking Parkview lightly, regardless of record.

"They're still Parkview," Crews said. "If we start making mistakes and turning the ball over, we'll be in trouble."'