An upcoming documentary on the Pisgah-Tuscola football rivalry now has a title, online trailer, website and Facebook page.
“Rumble in the Mountains” is planned for a spring 2015 release and is being produced by 2002 Black Bears graduate Aaron Griffin.
More on Rumble in the Mountains:
Full length documentary about the football rivalry between Pisgah High School and Tuscola High School in Haywood County, North Carolina
In two sleepy towns in Haywood County, NC there is a rivalry. Our first town, Canton, holds a population of approximately 4,300, while Waynesville, boasts a population around 9,300. These two towns are less than ten miles apart, and for decades the rivalry between Canton and Waynesville has spilled over into every avenue of life for the citizens and their communities. The most evident is the showdown every year between both towns’ high school football teams.
The rivalry has been around for decades; intensifying even further when Haywood County’s high schools were condensed into two in 1966. The county is split almost down the middle with kids in the western part of the county funneling into Tuscola, and kids living in the eastern side attending to Pisgah. The rivalry is not only a staple in the community but has also garnered national recognition, being voted the best high school rivalry in North Carolina in 2013. People are raised draped in one of two colors, gold or red. In the heart of Tuscola region, you are raised wearing the Gold and Black of the Mountaineers; Pisgah generations bleed Red and Black for the Bears.
Every contest between the two schools is the “must see” game of the season no matter the sport; football is in a league all its own. For a combined population of roughly 13,500, the games are drawing upwards of 15,000 fans. Last season marked the 50th meeting between the two rivals resulting in Pisgah winning 27-7. The series is almost dead even like all rivalries. Tuscola leads the series 26-23-1 and they have never trailed in the series since the 1980’s.
In 2013 the biggest game of the year got even bigger when conference realignment put the two schools back together after spending many years apart. Now this series has conference championship and possibly state championship implications; meaning, this game can ruin a team’s pride, playoff eligibility, and state championship dreams. For the citizens of this community, this is bigger than the Yankees vs. Red Sox; bigger than Duke vs. North Carolina; this is THE rivalry.
WHY AM I DOING THIS DOCUMENTARY?
Everyone needs to experience the feeling that you get when these two teams meet. This is one of the best rivalries around, winning best rivalry game in the state in 2013. This documentary will capture the emotion as intensely as the people living in have experienced for years. The rest of the world will see how a high school football game is a beacon for one community and how it impacts every aspect of their lives.
The project has a tentative release date of Spring 2015
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Aaron Griffin grew up in a military family with his dad serving in the Marine Corps for 20 years. Moving around the world and within the United States, Haywood County always felt like home. This was where his extended family lived and both parents hailing from the area; father attending Pisgah and mother attending Tuscola. Holidays were split between the two families in Bald Creek and Waynesville. No matter where he was living at the time, if you were in Haywood County, you felt like you were at home. After his father retired from the Marines in the late 90’s, the family moved back to Haywood County.
Aaron and his sister had a choice to make, to be a Mountaineer or a Black Bear? Ultimately they chose Pisgah High School because their father got a job as a ROTC instructor and later becoming the Assistant Principal. Aaron has lived the rivalry, playing in the band and lettering in golf and soccer while in high school. Aaron graduated in 2002 and attended UNC-Greensboro where he graduated with his BA in TV and Film Production. Aaron has worked over six years in the production world. First working as commercial producer at a local television station in Winston-Salem, NC, then as the Assistant Director of Multimedia for Wake Forest University and now at a production company in Raleigh, NC.
“I have been wanting to do this project for a long time. I just never had the free time to do it. It just feels like the right time to start it. I want to tell the compelling story of the rivalry between the two schools and even reaching back before 1966. I plan on interviewing former and current players, coaches, fans, city officials. Pretty much whoever wants to tell their side of the story.”
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
The rivalry spans generations and it can be a community effort to help make this film. This is one of the best, if not the best, rivalries in high school football. Your donations will bring even more exposure to the intensity of the games and both communities. This is a great story that can be compelling and emotionally driven.
WHAT YOUR DONATION WILL BE USED FOR
To put it simply, making a documentary is not cheap. Here is a list of things that your donation will go towards:
Cameras- We are going to rent some pretty high end camera gear to shoot with throughout the project
Miscellaneous costs that go along with making a film: DVD production, posters, etc.
Risks and challenges
Some of the challenges we will face is finding content like video clips, pictures, articles and anything related to the rivalry. But, we have reached out to the community and have already gotten a very supportive response about the whole project.