You build a rivalry like you build a program.
You need a little time and a little patience coupled with plenty of resiliency and a dash of endurance.
The best rivalries, the ones soaked in tradition, that ones that get circled on the schedule a year in advance, don't hatch overnight.
But Friday night is the night something special can happen in East Manatee.
It's Braden River at Lakewood Ranch, next-door neighbors who have in front of them a tremendous opportunity to turn their geographical feud into a full-on classic.
This isn't just about bragging rights. Rather, it is about two teams hitting their peak at the right time. Most importantly, thanks to the Florida High School Athletic Association, it's about two teams who really need to beat the other: The Pirates and Mustangs compete in Class 7A-District 10, making this the first truly meaningful they'll play this fall.
This isn't the first time the two teams have met, nor is it the first time they have met with district positioning on the line.
But this edition feels bigger than the rest. Braden River is 3-0 and appears half a world removed from its 1-9 nightmare of 2012. Lakewood Ranch is 2-1, with its one loss coming in double overtime.
Both teams boast playmakers. Both teams can play some defense. And both teams are guided by fresh voices. Braden River's Curt Bradley is in just his third season, while longtime assistant Mick Koczersut is leading Lakewood Ranch for the first time.
They're evenly matched teams playing for the same stakes. Play a classic game on Friday night, Mustangs and Pirates, and this will be the one everyone points to 20 years from now when they talk about Braden River/Lakewood Ranch.
The area's rivalry crown still belongs to Manatee/Southeast. The series' momentum has decidedly swung toward the Hurricanes, winner of the last seven meetings. But there is too much history, too many huge moments and too many pantheon-worthy games for that rivalry to shift to the back burner.
But Braden River/Lakewood Ranch has a chance to carve its own history, to shape its own myths and to provide its own fans with immortal pearls equivalent to Peter Warrick shattering Manatee's heart with a punt return in 1993 or Mike Blakely shrugging off a sore shoulder to power the Hurricanes' 24-point second half in 2010.
Friday night's winner wakes up Saturday morning siting atop the district. The losing team has some work to do.
A close game, however, and the winners are the football fans in East Manatee, especially the young ones who choose to plant their flag and start a family of their own.
Every rivalry starts somewhere.
Braden River and Lakewood Ranch starts Friday night.
John Lembo, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him on Twitter@JohnLembo1878.