Rivals and Friends: Cody Kirk and Jordan Trip - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Rivals and Friends: Cody Kirk and Jordan Trip

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Many young Montana kids have dreams of playing for the Cats or the Griz, and for two youth football teammates in Missoula, they got that chance, but for opposing teams.       

While Jordan Tripp is listed at nearly 6'4, and 240 pounds, he hasn't always been that big, but even when playing little Grizzly football with now Bobcat Cody Kirk, it was apparent the two would be special.
"I think Cody was probably early on a little bit more physical than Jordie was, but when you look at those young kids, they could both run, so you knew if they stayed after it they'd have the ability to go play if they wanted to keep doing it," says Kirk and Tripp's youth football coach Mike Callaghan.

And even Tripp admits, Kirk may have had an edge in the early days.
"I remember we had the inside drill they called it at Napa, and we went against each other, Cody got the best of me a couple times, because he was bigger and stronger, still is a little stronger than me, but it's funny to look back on some of those memories and collisions back at Napa when you were in fifth grade," says Tripp, a senior linebacker for the Griz.

Now at rival schools, the two are still good friends and spend time together when their schedule allows…but they do have one rule that's helped keep the rivalry out of their friendship.

"Jordan and I, we hangout, we get along well in the summer, we just have the no talking policy during football, we don't talk about football, and I think that's helped preserve our relationship over the last four years," says Kirk, the senior standout running back for the Cats.

While both will say it's not about facing an individual, rather the team, they do enjoy going up against each other in what is eerily similar to their tackling drills when they were younger.

"We've had some good collisions and stuff, I've had him sign pictures, but it's just something to look back on when you're older," says Tripp.

"I made a joke last year, we both got a little chuckle out of it, then it was serious," laughs Kirk.

While the two would have enjoyed playing together, it's clear that both are where they belong.

"That's where his hearts at, you can look back at pictures of him and I when he's in cats, I'm in Griz stuff, and we're five feet tall," says Tripp.

And come Saturday, when they go against one another for one final time in the Brawl of the Wild, it's bound to be memorable.

"To see two kids that have distinguished themselves as leaders in their teams, and teams that have been very successful, to see them walk out there both as captains will be a special moment for a lot of people that had the pleasure of watching the two of them grow up," says Callaghan.

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