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HS FOOTBALL: A 50 year rivalry ends when two schools join forces

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Berea-Midpark Titans hit the field for game one.  (WOIO) Berea-Midpark Titans hit the field for game one. (WOIO)
Berea- Midpark marching band (WOIO) Berea- Midpark marching band (WOIO)
The Titans hit the field for game one. (WOIO) The Titans hit the field for game one. (WOIO)
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NORTH ROYALTON, OHIO (WOIO) -

Friday night football is kicking off a new season and on Friday, August 30, in North Royalton, arch rivals are now on the same side.

Midpark and Berea merged their schools forming a new team nicknamed the Titans.

For at least 50 years, the schools battled each other but they squared off for the last time last year.  Declining enrollment and financial issues forced them to downsize.  By combining, many are hoping the teams will be better.

Many spectators had something to say regarding the new team and the end of a five decade rivalry.

"It's a little weird.  I was a Berea grad in 2006.  It's a little weird seeing them together," says Matt Holecko.

A proud parent shared her thoughts about the merger. 

"It's amazing.  Everybody's come along.  The kids are great.  Everybody.  The parents are getting along," says Sharon Wolf.

"I like it.  I think it's better now.  We have a lot more people and talent.  We get along so I like it," says student Hope Alward.

Sharon Wolf shared her optimism, "They're going to be good.  They're going to be good.  Every year they're going to improve on all their teams.

"I think when you combine two pretty big schools and you put them together.  I think you have to be better," says Matt Holecko.

As the new season gets underway, there's a healthy sense of optimism among these fans...formerly foes...now friends.

Hope Alward says "I think we're going to win every game."

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