There was a time when “The Battle of Five Forks Trickum” was THE game of the year in the state of Georgia. That’s the nickname for the Brookwood vs. Parkview rivalry which will be played for the 35th time Friday night. That’s every year since 1982. Five Forks Trickum is the road that links the six miles between the two Gwinnett County rivals. Now the rivalry’s is back and you can see it on GPB.

Truth is, the rivalry never went anywhere. The two schools have remained bitter rivals all these years, it’s just that the attention of the high school football world got diverted to more relevant rivalries such as Norcross vs North Gwinnett and more recently Archer vs Grayson. But for the first time since 2005, both the Broncos and the Panthers enter the game ranked in the Top 10. Parkview is 8th in the GPB AAAAAAA Top 10 and Brookwood is 10th. Both are still in contention for the Region-7 championship.

The similarities between the two schools are so striking. For an 11-year period 1995-2005, one or both of these teams played for the state championship eight times. Parkview won four titles and played for two others. Brookwood won once (1996) and played for two others. The rivalry reached its zenith in 2002 when the Panthers beat the Broncos 28-7 in the state final. That was the third of Parkview’s three straight state championships that included a then state-record winning streak that was eventually stopped by Brookwood at 46-games, two games into the 2003 season. But that was then, what about now?

Now the rivalry is on its way back. Both teams enter Friday night’s game 5-2 on the season. Both are coached by former players who played for the architects of those aforementioned “Glory Years” teams. Former lineman Philip Jones is in his second season as the Broncos head coach, having replaced retired Head Coach Mark Crews and having played for legendary Head Coach Dave Hunter on Brookwood’s 1996 state championship team. After playing his college ball at South Carolina, Jones would return to his alma mater on two separate occasions as an assistant coach to Crews for six years eventually succeeding him in 2015. But Jones ties run all the way back to when he was eight years old and his dad Tom took the job as Hunter’s offensive line coach at Brookwood. A job he would hold for 28 years.

Eric Godfree was a tight end for Parkview and was a senior in Cecil Flowe’s first of 21 seasons as Panthers’ head coach. Godfree was later an assistant on Flowe’s staff for five seasons, including that run of three consecutive state titles before leaving to become the head coach at Loganville for 10 seasons. His “Welcome Back Kotter” moment came in 2014 when he replaced Flowe after 197 wins and four state championships.

If you haven’t seen the Parkview vs. Brookwood rivalry since those “Glory Days” you might not recognize it. The slobber knocker days of three yards and a cloud of dust are gone. Both teams throw the ball more than they run it. In fact the Panthers average 231 yards per game passing behind their senior quarterback Caleb Mitchell. The Broncos junior QB is Angelo DeSpigna. He passes for 197 yards per game although the Brookwood offense is a little more balanced than Parkview, rushing for 182 yards per game compared to the Panthers 161 ypg.

The two most dynamic players on the field Friday night will be wearing number two. That’s the Broncos RB/WR Matthew Hill who is an ESPN 4-star and #12 ranked junior wide out in the country with 14 offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan (that’s the top three ranked college football teams in the country if you haven’t been paying attention). The Panthers #2 is Malik Washington, a sophomore “athlete” who’s already been offered by Auburn. He plays WR, QB and FS for the Parkview.

The other player that you’ll definitely want to watch is the Broncos Leonard Warner. He’s an ESPN 4-star who is ranked the #2 inside linebacker in the country with 23 offers. Warner’s reported “top five” are Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State, Stanford and Duke.

So join us Friday night on GPB as we return to Five Forks Trickum and the attention of the state turns once again to Brookwood vs. Parkview. The rivalry is back and you’ll be there to see it.

Here’s a list of the recruits to keep your eyes on:

Parkview Panthers

Malik Washington – Sophomore Athlete – Offered by Auburn
Christian Malloy – Junior RB – Offered by Tulane

Brookwood Broncos

Leonard Warner – ESPN 4-Star - #2 ranked senior ILB in the nation – 23 offers – Top Five Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State, Stanford, Duke
Matthew Hill – ESPN 4-Star - #12 ranked junior WR in the nation – 14 offers including Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan
Casey Holman – junior OT – 4 offers – Miami is his leader
Cantorian Weems – senior safety – 6 offers including Oregon State, Troy, App State, Georgia State
Kendall Williamson – Junior WR/CB – Offered by Navy