When Jim Brown took over as Jordan's football coach in 2012, he immediately began to study the history of the school and of the program.
One of the most common things he heard from parents, faculty and alumni concerned the Red Jackets' biggest rival.
"When I first got here, everyone says, well, 'Columbus is our rival, Columbus is our rival' and all the alumni is saying, 'Columbus is our rival, Columbus is our rival,' " Brown explained. "And I'm looking at the schedule, and Columbus isn't there. So, I'm saying, 'Come on, if Columbus is our rival, how come they aren't on the schedule?'"
That changes on Friday.
After a two-year hiatus for one of the longest-running high school rivalries in the state, Columbus and Jordan will face off on the gridiron at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kinnett Stadium.
The teams celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2008 and stretched that number to 103 in 2011. When regions realigned in 2012, however, the series was not renewed.
Despite the difference in classifications -- Brown joked that Jordan, a Class AAA team, probably had no business playing a Class AAAAA team -- he felt like it was necessary to renew a big piece of high school football in the Columbus area.
When he approached Columbus coach Phil Marino, Marino was on board.
"I think it's important," he said. "You know, these kids being so young, I'm not sure where it fits for them. But for their parents, if they're from here, I know they can tell a lot of stories. I think, for the kids, they'll be able to keep that tradition because it's something their parents have had for all these years, and I think somewhere down the line they'll be able to understand how important it is."
The game itself is a great opportunity for both teams, which have struggled to put together wins over the years. Columbus was 1-9 last season, while Jordan finished 2-8. Despite the difference in classifications, the teams match up well enough to be a good challenge for the other and it gives both an opportunity gain some early-season momentum.
"We just know we're ready to start off the season and ready to start off with a win," Columbus senior Dale Williams said. "Like Coach says, our first goal is to win our four non-region games, so that's the most important thing right now."
Jordan seniors Javante West and Ladarius Humphries agreed it would be "huge" if the Red Jackets could pick up a win against their rivals to start the year.
"It would give us a lot of momentum," West said.
For the coaches, though, scheduling the game was mostly about the rivalry itself.
"I don't know that it's about the game so much, that it's a win for somebody or that competitively we're equal or whatever it might be," Marino said. "He just wanted to see how the game could be built."
"We're just like everyone else," Brown said. "We look at this game and we want to win. We know what we're up against, but the main thing is I want to see my team compete. But it's good for the community. It's good for high school football. Everything is good about it."
While the game is currently only under contract for this season and next, both Marino and Brown expressed the hope that it would be back on the books for the long term.
"This rivalry has been around since the early 1900s, around the turn of the century," he said. "As long as I'm coach here, I'm going to push to have this game."
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
*Spencer at Russell County, 7 p.m.
Jordan vs. Columbus (K), 7:30 p.m.
Kendrick vs. Stewart County (M), 7:30 p.m.
Shaw at Luella, 7:30 p.m.
Calvary Christian at John Hancock Academy, 7:30 p.m.
Stockbridge at Central, 8 p.m.
Americus-Sumter at Smiths Station, 8 p.m.
*Northside at Taylor County, 7:30 p.m.
*Twiggs County at Chattahoochee County, 7:30 p.m.
Carver at Carver-Atlanta (at Tri-Cities), 2:30 p.m.
Brookstone vs. Mount Pisgah (M), 4 p.m.
Hardaway at Tri-Cities, 5:15 p.m.