Friday’s Badin-Hamilton showdown was ‘epic for our community’

The Showdown at the Schwarm was a win for the city of Hamilton.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Showdown at the Schwarm was a generation in the making as the Badin Rams met the Hamilton Big Blue in a gridiron matchup to open the 2023 high school football season on Friday night.

While Badin earned bragging rights with an 18-0 victory, fans on both sides ― and some with split allegiances ― hope they don’t have to wait another 23 years for another meeting.

T-shirts marking the historic Showdown at the Schwarm were made for both sides, colored green for Badin and blue for Hamilton. Alli Sullivan, an elementary school teacher at Ridgeway in Hamilton and 2013 Badin graduate, bought two and made a custom-made T-shirt with half representing Rams’ green and the other half in Big Blue blue.

“It’s really exciting,” she said while attending the watch party at Municipal Brew Works with friends. “It’s fun to see everybody get excited about something, and cheer different teams on.”

She also can’t wait to see the Big Blue visit Badin after the construction of their planned stadium, which received planning commission approval in May.

“Just because Badin’s borrowed the field for so long, I think Hamilton would like to go onto Badin’s turf and try to beat them sometime. I think it would be cool.” she said.

Gavin Matthews, a 2017 Badin graduate and assistant baseball coach for the Rams, said there’s no reason not to regularly play in every sport.

“I think it’s just good to get these two schools playing probably the biggest high school sport there is in this area and getting to pack the place out and get all the fans involved,” he said. “They play in baseball, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t play in everything else.”

Brian Hopkins, a 1986 Badin graduate, and his fiancée Lisa Rommes, a 1986 Hamilton High graduate, were sitting on the Hamilton side at Schwarm, and both loved to see the mathup.

“I’m glad a lot of people came out and I just think it’s good for the city,” Hopkins said.

Brittany Logsdon didn’t attend either school, but her kids are Hamilton school district students. Though her fandom is for Big Blue, she said the intercity rivalry “has been epic for our community.”

“Everyone’s coming together, everyone’s coming out to the game,” she said of the sold-out, 5,700-seat Virgil M. Schwarm Stadium. “This has been really great for the community all together. It’s bringing out all the kids and all the families together for Hamilton.”

Mayor Pat Moeller said before the game it was “going to be fun and historic.”

“It’s going to be a great football game no matter who wins,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton racked up a big win as a portion of the Showdown at the Schwarm T-shirt sales when to the nonprofit organization. Executive Director Tommy John said it received $10,000.

“I think the city’s in a special place of revitalization and growth,” he said. “This is a great representation of where the city is today, and special things are on tap for Hamilton.”

The game was the first-ever sellout for Schwarm Stadium, which is also the home field for the Badin Rams. Badin ended the first half Friday night with a 15-0 lead, and while Hamilton was shut out for the game, Big Blue was able to hold the visiting Rams to only three points in the second half.

Both teams next play at 7 p.m. Friday as Badin travels to Columbus to play St. Francis DeSales and Hamilton travels to Liberty Twp. to take on Lakota East.

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