The Walker-Cullman football rivalry dates back to the days of leather helmets.
Over the last 80-plus years, the teams have met 66 times with most of those games coming down to the wire.
How close is the rivalry? The two teams are separated by a total of just 27 points through 264 quarters of play. Walker holds a narrow lead in the all-time series (33-31-2).
While the Vikings and Bearcats have met in games that have decided region championships as well as a pair of playoff matchups, they have played in just one season opener.
That changes for the upcoming 2012 season.
For the first time since 1940, the rivalry will open the season for both teams on Friday, Aug. 31 at Cullman High’s Woodard Stadium.
Cullman won last year’s contest 17-14 at Walker thanks to 32-yard field goal on the game’s final play.
The Walker-Cullman game highlights the opening week of the 2012 season.
In a Walker County matchup, the Oakman-Parrish game has been the regular-season finale for both teams for the past four years.
This year, the game moves to the front of the line as the season opener. The Wildcats and Tornadoes played in the season opener from 1990 to 2007.
Oakman won last year’s game 21-19 at Parrish after building a 21-6 lead and holding off a Parrish comeback attempt in the final quarter.
The rivalry has been evenly-matched over the last 17 years with Parrish holding a 9-8 edge. The Tornadoes dominated the series the previous 18 years, going 16-2 over that period.
A pair of other Walker County matchups remain as the season openers with Carbon Hill hosting Curry and Dora travling to Cordova.
Curry has owned Carbon Hill in recent years, going 8-1 in the last nine meetings. The Jackets have also won the last five matchups.
Dora snapped a four-game losing streak against Cordova last season, winning big at home.
Sumiton Christian, which is dropping to 1A, plays at Shades Mountain Christian in a region game. The Eagles are in a nine-team region for the third consecutive year.
In Winston County, a pair of rivals will meet for the first time since 2007 in the opener when Lynn hosts Winston County High School. Lynn has won the last three meetings (2005-07).
The Yellow Jackets suffered through their second 0-10 season in the last six years in 2011.
Meek hits the road to Appalachian for the season opener.
Addison, which joins the Daily Mountain Eagle’s coverage area for the 2012 season, opens the year at Ider, in a matchup of playoff teams from last season. The game will be the first meeting between the teams. Ider has advanced to the playoffs each of the last three seasons after missing the postseason for 10 consecutive years.