Henderson County rivalry takes center stage on 'Thursday Night Lights'

(FILE) Thursday Night Lights on August 25, 2016, will be Hendersonville at West Henderson. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. -- A first for prep football in the mountains -- it's Thursday Night Lights Hendersonville at West Henderson.

This is the first time in Western North Carolina that a full 10 high school football games will be aired on live television.

Games between Hendersonville and West Henderson are always interesting because the schools are only a few miles apart. Add to it, the fact that it will be on My40 as a live game, and that's a recipe for a lot of excitement here in Henderson County.

It's been a short week of practice for a pair of football teams, but these players and coaches could not be more excited to play on live television.

"It sends chills down your spine a little bit," Landon Owen, West Henderson senior, said. "You've always dreamed since you were a little kid growing up, and being in the NFL and everything. Playing on TV, and that's just kind of how it feels."

"Should be fun. We get to play a big rivalry game on TV," Alex Williford, Hendersonville junior quarterback, said. "The TV game last year was fun, so it should be a good game this year."

Anytime these two teams get together, there's extra motivation because most of the players have known each other for a long time.

"Especially when you play against your county rival that's five miles up the road, it doesn't take much for our kids to get up," West Henderson coach Paul Whitaker said. "Hendersonville will be the same way. What a great opportunity for our school and our community here in Mills River to play on TV."

"It's good for our kids to have some exposure outside of people, outside of the those at the game," Hendersonville coach Jim Sosebee said. "So, we're pretty excited for the people to get to see them."

The challenge that both coaches will face is making sure the players remain focused on the game, and not on all the extra attention.

West Henderson beat Madison by three points in week one. Hendersonville lost at home to Murphy. Both teams are hoping for bragging rights on Thursday.

The coverage for the game will start at 6:30 p.m. on My40, then the game will kick off at 7:00 p.m.

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