By MARINA WATERS
Folks in Washington County get caught up in the old Daniel Boone and David Crockett High School rivalry, but now, you can actually get lost in it.
Fenders Farm is celebrating the Washington County match up with eight-acre corn maze cut in the design of a Boone and Crockett helmet for their 2017.
Though the farm has had designs that honored St. Jude, breast cancer awareness and the shriner organization, this is the first year owner and operator Carroll Fender has ever chosen a Musket Bowl-themed cut trail.
“We just decided to go this direction this year,” Fender said. “The time just seemed to be right to honor these two schools and their great rivalry since 1972.”
Fender is no stranger to the across county match up; he coached basketball and track and also cross country and baseball from 1974 to 2005. Though he spent six years coach in North Carolina, he finally came back to his roots by coaching at Lamar and David Crockett — and back to rivalry each Washington County team looks forward to each season.
“I spent 11 years trying to get back to my home school that I graduated from,” Fender said. “Clarence Mabe and I battled hard on the basketball court when I coached. And Gray and Lamar were very fierce competitors and were always thorns in each other’s sides.”
Not only is the former Pioneer coach proud to represent Crockett in his two and a half mile cut trail on his farm, but he also recognizes the honor it is to also represent the across town rival.
“We have close ties with a lot of people from Daniel Boone also,” Fender explained. “Jerry Jenkins and I taught together and we are very close friends. His sons and my daughter grew up together.. So we have close ties to both sides. It’s as much of an honor to honor one side as it is the other.”
The farm, complete with its new and classic haunted-attractions like Field of Screams and a zombie paintball tour, shares the same season with the Blazer and Pioneer teams. Though the maze celebrates the rivalry, Fender said his schedule doesn’t allow his family to actually attend the game.
“We only have six to seven weeks to market what we work on the whole year and that just happens to be during football season, he said. “It’ll be so crazy on Friday night when the Musket Bowl is being played that I couldn’t tell you my name.
“If they want us to go to the Musket Bowl, they’d have to play it in November,” he added, laughing.
Though the Fenders likely won’t be able to catch any Friday night football games, the farm owner realizes what the game means to so many in the community.
“It certainly means a lot to the people in this area,” Fender said. “I realize there are people who go to a lot of football games in a year, but there are a lot of people who will only go to one football game — and that will be the musket bowl.
“It’s a big deal.”
For more information on Fenders Farm, visit http://www.fendersmaze.com/ or call (423)753-4469.