Today, I want to talk about a pair of schools that I have lived near all my life. I’m talking about a battle of Flyers and Raiders.
That’s right, Wright State University and the University of Dayton.
The Wright State Raiders belong in the ten-team Horizon League, whereas the Dayton Flyers are in the Atlantic-10 Conference along with thirteen other teams. Wright State is a public school funded by the state, while UD is a private school. The Raiders have a color scheme of green and gold, while the Flyers have a red and blue color palette. The Raiders are represented with a gray, fierce wolf but have been represented by a viking between 1987 and 1997 and a brown wolf from 1997 until 2007. The Flyers have a mascot of a pilot (it sort of reminds me of the Iowa Barnstormers in a way.) The mascots are named Rowdy Raider and Rudy Flyer.
You might be asking “Why Raiders?” Since Dayton has had the Flyers, Wright State had to come up with something else. Since the city of Dayton is the birthplace of aviation, you have the Flyers and Wright State (based on Orville and Wilbur Wright).
Whenever these two teams play each other, there’s never an empty seat. The fans pile up and the athletes give it their all. The atmosphere fills with electricity between both schools.
To me, these games take the same time of research and preparation but they bring the same excitement, sometimes even more. It’s a great combo of the two teams getting together to play and it makes for a great broadcast. Also, in an attempt to not boost my ego, I feel like I am the voice of the Miami Valley at that point (unless it’s covered by another station which Women’s Basketball is.) I’ve only missed ONE WSU vs. UD broadcast, and it was a hockey broadcast.
Except for Men’s Basketball (which I am NOT opening that can of worms to remain neutral), the two schools play in just about every sport. Sometimes there will be off-years (like Men’s Soccer, for this season). Baseball plays twice unless the weather has something to say about it. The rest of the sports is usually just once a year, however.
While this is a great rivalry for sports, this is also a great friendship as well. Both schools have been picking up some abandoned places to create jobs. For example, UD bought the old NCR headquarters and will be creating offices there. Wright State took up an abandoned cement factory in nearby Fairborn and created Calamityville. Both schools have deals with Air Force.
So there you have a preview of our rivalry in the Miami Valley. These schools both are great places to continue education and both field incredible athletic teams and arenas.
Sorry about the delay of this article, readers. I hope you enjoyed it.