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When anyone enters the Poteau Pirates football team's locker room, on the wall are several team goals. No. 8 â€” Beat Sallisaw. No. 9 â€” Go undefeated at home. If the Pirates achieve goal No. 9 tonight at Costner Stadium, it means the Pirates also achieved goal No. 8.
The Pirates (3-0) will welcome the archrival Black Diamonds (2-1) to town to open District 4A-4 play at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Costner Stadium.
â€śIt's nice to be home,â€ť said Greg Werner, Poteau's new coach. â€śIt's going to be special because this will probably be the largest crowd these players are going to play in front of.â€ť
The Poteau Pirate Quarterback Club is urging fans to wear their Pirate red to help â€śred outâ€ť the Black Diamonds.
Tonight's game between the Pirates, tied for 10th in the Class 4A poll, and the sixth-ranked Black Diamonds is being touted by one state newspaper as one of the Top 10, if not Top 5, games in all of Oklahoma high school football tonight.
â€śThat (the opponent is Sallisaw and the game is the district opener) makes it that much more special,â€ť Werner said. â€śYou want to get as many district wins as you can.â€ť
For the last few years, the Black Diamonds have had the Pirates' number â€” winning 41-7 last year at Sallisaw's Perry F. Lattimore Stadium and 38-13 Oct. 15, 2010, at Costner Stadium. The Pirates are hoping that the trend will go a different direction tonight.
â€śIt's a big rivalry game, and we want to get it turned to our favor,â€ť Werner said. â€śWe want to make it more of a rivalry game that is has been.â€ť