School Rivalries

Every school has that arch “enemy” so to speak, the one school everyone wants to beat in sports. For athletes and fans, great rivalries represent sports at their most dramatic. These contests and the histories behind them can inspire the best in teams and athletes. This is shown in venues large and small, from the national pride demonstrated in the olympic games to the community spirit on display when entire towns turn out to see their high school teams compete. For senior Kori Lawrence, a rivalry is more than just a competition.

“I think everyone’s level elevates because of the bragging rights that go along with beating your rival and we all know each other so it just makes us play harder,” Lawrence said.

The long standing rivalries are part of the fun in high school football. History and tradition are rooted in these games that have been played for years. Regardless of a teams record in a season, many see these games as “must win” contests in order to obtain or hold on to bragging rights. Some rivalries are bigger and are more important than others. Various cross town rivalries fade over time as teams move to different conferences, or as the game becomes one sided. It is life lived in the present, players smashing through banners held by cheerleaders, bursting with the possibility of the moment.

Junior Jeffroe McAllister believes school rivalries are a great way to keep athletic teams ready and motivated for upcoming games.

“When two schools have a healthy rivalry, they push each other to be better which leads to both teams getting better and working harder,” McAllister said.

In every rivalry, there’s more on the line than what meets the eye. At times, a conference championship is at stake. Even when playing a rival, football is still just a game. Each school is unique but they are united by the familiarity and reassurance of the local rivals. The things that make these rivalries special vary in each series. For sophomore Brooklyn Blake, playing a rival is good competition.

“Whenever we play a rival we try our best to win and knowing that both schools want to win only helps us thrive more in games and in our athletic programs,” Blake said.