by Lynn Jones – The 54th annual Northwest Classic, the annual football match up between Raines and Ribault High Schools, was held last weekend with all of the traditional fanfare. Temporarily relocated to First Coast High School, the revelers did not miss a beat as they celebrated the best in high school football.
The Raines Vikings continue to lead the series with the all-time 40-14 record adding to their victory count as they trounced the Ribault Trojans for the sixth straight year 47-18. The location of the game alternates every year and 2023 host Jean Ribault relocated because Ribault is being rebuilt as part of the Duval school district’s renovation and rebuilding program thanks to the half-cent sales tax increase voters approved in 2020.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were six elected officials including Council President Ron Salem who ossed the coin between the two rivals. The week leading up to the game includes a variety of activities ranging from pep rallies and parades to fish fries and symposiums. A highlight of the event is the annual tail-gating which serves as a reunion as decades of classes organize uner their own big tent to celebrate their alma maters.
Whether you are at the fish fry, in line for the parade, or just hanging out Friday the night before the game… it’s always good to be amongst friends and family,” said Shirley Saulsby, regular attendee and 1988 Raines Alumnu