CALDWELL — It was a scene that played out all year long. Anytime Blackfoot or Snake River soccer was discussed you couldn't help but notice the smiles and the pride that fans showed towards the two teams.
What will catch those unfamiliar with the two squads by surprise is the genuine love that the two teams have for one another. Yes, long time rivals have become best of friends both on and off the field, well at least on the soccer pitch that is.
Both Blackfoot and Snake River captured state titles over the weekend and it is a fitting tribute to Blackfoot's youth programs, including their vaunted Black-Snake team that is comprised of both Blackfoot and Snake River players.
"I have said all along that you are only as good as your youth program," Blackfoot head coach Liam Pope said. "We have had some success with our youth program and what you saw here this weekend was the fruit of that labor."
In a season in which Blackfoot and Snake River renewed their time honored sports rivalries, the soccer was more of a brother-versus-brother scenario.
On Snake River's senior night, they invited the Broncos to stand with them at midfield after the game as they cheered the large crowd that had come to witness the event.
On Friday, after word had been received that both squads had advanced to their respective state finals, a call went out for Blackfoot to remain at Caldwell High School so that Snake River could join them for a combined team photo commemorating the historic event.
And then the cherry on the top as Blackfoot watched and cheered Snake River to their state title and then Snake River returned the favor in the night cap as they cheered on Blackfoot.
Yes, times are a changing to be sure but for the next year at least, that camaraderie and team work has produced not one, but two state titles that are directly traceable to what is proving to be a very successful Blackfoot soccer program indeed.