School Rivalry Unifies Campus

Casey Miller, News Editor

A few days ago, I overheard a classmate say, “Okay, but what’s the point of these insane college rivalries, or like, even high school rivalries?”

She was talking about March Madness, and her statement got me thinking. What is the point of rivalries?

Simply stated, rivalries are motivational. On a game day against Miramonte or Las Lomas or Acalanes, my softball team might “blackout,” come to school dressed in all black. It’s a big deal when there is competition between schools in the same community, and we want to be able to say “At least we beat Acalanes!” after the season is over.

Rivalries are traditional. I babysit for children whose parents attended Campolindo 20 years ago, and they always ask me how the basketball game or football game went against Miramonte. Rivalries are remembered and held sacred. At a college level, this intensifies, as we can see between universities like Cal and Stanford. In high school, the emotions that come with “The Big Game” are as raw and real.

Admittedly, rivalries can be dangerous. In 2011, a Giants fan was beat up by a group of Dodgers devotees after an intense game in Dodger Stadium. At the high school level, fights have broken out between Miramonte and Campolindo students after close basketball contests.

However, the benefits of spirited rivalries tend to outweigh the violent hazards of such passionate competition.

Competition between schools is a natural cultural phenomenon, whether it’s athletically, academically, or otherwise. We love to see Campolindo set the highest STAR testing scores in the district, or the Cougars earn film festival awards over students from nearby schools.

Rivalries promote “school pride.” While we might pull pranks and make disparaging remarks about school, we also have a deep, underlying  pride in being a part of the Campolindo student body. We show it at rallies (floundering as those rallies may be), at athletic events, and in our identification with the school by wearing Campolindo gear away from campus.

There are certainly elements that divide students on a particular campus.  We gravitate to various clicks and interact with only a small segment of the school’s population in most situations. However, when it comes to “The Game” against Miramonte or Acalanes, you can bet that a whole sea of red shirts will be in the stands, rooting for the Cougars.

Rivalries provide inspiration and unity.

3 years ago, I was a little 8th grader at Stanley Middle School trying to decide whether I wanted to go to Campolindo or Acalanes. I’m going to lay a truth bomb out here: my main reason for choosing Campolindo was its unity and spirt.

And with that, stomp the Mats.