Border Battle: Allen vs. Neosho

RJay McCoy, Sports Editor

The Allen Red Devils and the Neosho Panthers have had a rivalry in athletics the past few decades. With the two schools being only 30 minutes away from each other it gives the two communities something for which to cheer.

John Masterson, president of Allen Community College, gave his take on the rivalry.

“Iola and Chanute have had a big high school rivalry and they pretty much brought it to the collegiate level athletics with the colleges,” said Masterson.

Masterson went more into depth, noting the schools are very much alike as both are non-football schools and are similar in population of students size of budget.

When these two teams got together in the 1990s and 2000s for basketball both men’s and women’s games were very competitive. In the 1980s Allen was a major power with Neil Crane as coach and players such as Darrell Tanner, Ryan Thornton, John Wiley and Isaiah Rider. Rider was one player from Allen who continued onto the NBA, winning an NBA Championship and even an NBA Slam Dunk Championship.

Both Allen and Neosho have propelled great players to the next level in all sports and it makes the area excited anytime these two teams get together.

This rivalry goes much farther than the basketball court. Other sports have experienced the competitiveness, tension, and great fan bases behind both sides. With all the support these two teams have, this rivalry promises to last well into the future.