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Divided Loyalties in Griffon/Bearcat Rivalry

When game time comes, family loyalties are dropped when it comes to Missouri Western and Northwest.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) When two universities are just 40 miles apart, there's often strong feelings between the two schools both on and off the field.

But what happens when the Missouri Western/Northwest game hits closer to home, or even inside the home?

That's the case for many who live on both sides of the Hwy. 71 rivalry.

Missouri Western fans might say Griffon grad Scott Yocum has gone to the dark side. Or, maybe, the dark green side.

"I had quite a few friends that were like, seriously, you work for Northwest?" Yocum said.

About ten years ago, Yocum moved his family from St. Joseph to Maryville to take a job in the Bearcat Bookstore.

"It's funny how things work out, but we're enjoying it," he said.

Over the years, Yocum has grown to accept the ribbing from his friends.

"It's all good. I love both schools," Yocum said.

For Griffon grad Ally Browning, there are no split allegiances. She is a Griffon through and through. But for her twin sister Abby, that's a different story.

"When it came time to decide where we were going to school, we decided we were for the first time in our lives going to take two separate paths," Browning said. "So Abby went to Northwest and I went to Missouri Western."

The twins are identical except for that one big difference.

"We kind of joke about it with each other, but most of the time we respect that we have a strong passion for our alma maters," said Browning.

Then there are the Jones, Darrell and Tammie. Darrell is a Western grad and Tammie is from Northwest. They've been married to each other, and the Western/Northwest rivalry, for 29 years.

Tammy and Northwest have had the upper hand for most of that time, but what does she think about Western winning the past couple years?

"Oh, Darrell thinks he's pretty proud of the Griffons," she said.

It gets even more confusing for the Jones family. Their daughter is a Bearcat and she married a Griffon. As for their new granddaughter, nobody is sure yet who she will root for.

"They are the second generation of a house divided," Tammie said.

While Darrell bleeds Griffon gold, he did set his pride aside for his daughter's graduation.

"I was proud of my daughter and wore a Northwest dress shirt," he said. "Ironically, I was doing some painting and accidentally spilled some paint on the shirt and entirely covered the Northwest logo."

Back at the Bearcat Bookstore, where does Yocum's rooting interests lie for Saturday's game?

"I will probably be wearing green and white. I will stop by on the Missouri Western side and see a few friends," he said.

What will Browning say to her sister if Missouri Western should win?

"This is how it's going to happen from now on. Missouri Western is going to win year after year," she said.

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