Rivalry History is Made

Tradition between ASU and Tarleton runs deep

By Sam Fowler
On February 18, 2016

   The weatherman did not call for snow, but there were full on ‘whiteout’ conditions inside the Stephens Arena on Feb. 10th for another chapter in the ASU-Tarleton State rivalry.Rams and Rambelles basketball took on Tarleton last week in the annual ‘white out’ game with the Belles falling 65-50 and the Rams prevailing in double overtime at 87-86. Why has there been such a rivalry between the two teams?
   On the hardwood, the Belles have a close 23-25 record against Tarleton, while the Rams have a 37-34 record.“They have been at the top for a while now,” men’s Head Coach Cinco Boone said. “Now we’re splitting games with them and showing that we can bow up to them.”
He’s right; Tarleton has been at the pinnacle of the Lone Star Conference for years now and they say ‘if you want to be the best, you have got to beat the best.’
    The crowd of 1,641 at the white out game reflected ASU’s rise as a conference contender.“The crowd was really supportive and loud,” senior forward Omari Gudul said. “Hearing the fans screaming helps your mentality to play harder knowing the fans are on your side.”
This is not atypical of games between the two schools with a plethora of fans making the drive from Stephenville and vice versa, making the crowds larger than other games.
   Gudul said it best; the crowd noise helps to get the adrenaline going through the athletes, thus ratcheting up the intensity on the court.
The double overtime contest between the Rams and Texans was not the first time the two had seen overtime against each other in San Angelo.
In January of 2009, it took four overtime periods before the Rams eventually knocked off Tarleton 85-80. 
   On the gridiron, the teams have met 32 times dating back to 1965 with the Rams taking the last two games to tie the series at 16 wins each, proving there is always a heated battle when these two meet in any athletic event.
   There is a theory on this rivalry that runs deeper than sports.San Angelo is a community extremely centered on agriculture and John Tarleton, the founder of Tarleton State, moved from the Northeastern United States to Tennessee before finally starting a ranch between Erath and Palo Pinto counties in North-Central Texas in the 1860s.The cowboys, who had worked ranches in San Angelo and West Texas alike, did not like the idea of a man from New England thinking he could do their job better; thus, breeding contempt between the cowboys of West Texas and Mr. Tarleton, and possibly contempt between ASU and Tarleton State.

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