Basketball Star Longs to Win Final Game Against Rival Southfield-Lathrup


Nina Walker

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Senior Dean Wagner plays on the Varsity Basketball Team.

This is the last year Southfield High will play Southfield-Lathrup in basketball because the two high schools are scheduled to merge into one comprehensive high school by Fall of 2016. The war between the arch rivals is scheduled to play out in two battles. The first is a home game on January 30., at 5:30 p.m. The second is an away game at Southfield-Lathrup on March 1, also at 5:30 p.m.
Historically, the match up has been highly competitive and becomes a toe-to-toe competition, said Gary Teasley, who coached the Blue Jays for 22 years but retired from coaching this year. In the last game between the two, when Teasley was coaching, the Jays won 63 to 59.
Here’s what Dean Wagner, the star of the Boys Varsity Basketball team has to say about a longtime rivalry that mirrors the Hatfield and McCoys or the Capulets and the Montagues:

Q: How intense is the rivalry with Southfield-Lathrup and Southfield High?
A: It’s real intense. We are crosstown rivals and both teams want to win bad. It’s just even more intense because its a rivalry in the school history.
Q: What’s the level of energy like when playing against Lathrup?
A: It’s always hype when going against Lathrup, and the game is always fast the whole time. We can’t let up on the other team.
Q: Is this personal?
A: I would say in a way it’s personal to me. I haven’t lost a game against Lathrup since attending Southfield High School, and I’m not planning on it.
Q: Have you guys as a team had the upper hand against Lathrup last year?
A: Yes, we were down a few points going against Lathrup, but after halftime ended, we ended up fighting back, making a comeback and winning the game.
Q: Do you think the merger will increase the intensity in this year’s rivalry?
A: Yes because it’s the last year we will be going against each other, and we want to be the best. It’s going to be a dog fight basically, and this is where we find out who’s the best and put the rivalry once and for all to rest.
Q: How will the merger make the game different from any other year?
A: Everybody wants to win the last game to see which team is the best.