Roberson/Reynolds rivalry shows soccer power in WNC

The Reynolds vs Roberson rivalry is one of the top soccer showdowns in North Carolina (WLOS Staff).jpg

WLOS - It used to be strange for Patrick Gladys to come back to T.C. Roberson High School. Gladys learned the ropes of coaching soccer from legendary Rams coach Rob Wilcher before leaving nearly twenty years ago to take over the program at rival A.C. Reynolds. Since then Gladys has helped push the Rockets into the same rarefied air as his old school. "It's a great rivalry. Roberson is a great program," said Gladys after his team knocked off the Rams 1-0 Wednesday night. "We have a lot of respect for them."

When the Rams and Rockets meet on the pitch it's almost guaranteed to be a great game. Over the last four and a half seasons the two are a combined 174-26-11. This season the Rockets are currently ranked 17th in the state while the Rams are 22nd. "Very, very rarely when you look back through the archives is there a blow out one way or the other," said Gladys. "It's always a one goal game, it's always overtime, it's always nuts." From 2014-17 the Rockets earned a 4-3-1 edge over their rivals, but the Rams held a goal differential advantage of 13-11.

The rivalry is as intense as the statistics surrounding it. Three yellow cards were issued during the latest edition and the lone goal came courtesy of a penalty kick after the Rockets' Pali Smith was leveled in the box. However, there is a mutual respect between both teams and coaches. That comes from knowing that if they are to finish their respective seasons at the top of the WMAC, one team will have to go through the other. "It's been that way for a long time, for as long as I can remember," Gladys observed. "It's probably going to stay that way."

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