Reviewing Our Rivalry – Editorial, Issue 2 – Volume CXII


Ohio State and Michigan. Montague and Capulet. Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Parker and Latin. These duos have one thing in common: they are established and entrenched rivalries. Rivalries can be fun. They bring attention and excitement. School spirit and community thrive on competition, and everyone enjoys having a uniting cause. However, as we have noticed in recent years, rivalries sometimes take a turn and bring out the worst in us. L atin was founded in 1888 and Parker in 1901. According to former Latin athletic director, Tom Bower, this rivalry began naturally in the early 20th century due to Parker and Latin’s proximity. Bower said that in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the rivalry had become bitter and problematic with frequent fights and bad sportsmanship. However, Bower reported that in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, with him as the athletic director for Latin and Pat Pagnucco as the new athletic director for Parker, the tensions settled and the rivalry became “fierce, but friendly.” It is the opinion of “The Weekly” that the “fierce, but friendly” nature of this rivalry should be reviewed and reaffirmed. Last year, on Parker’s turf, separated from the field only by a thin yellow rope was Latin’s student section. Wearing matching boathouse jackets, glowing orange t-shirts and holding brooms, they chanted. Loudly. Yelling epithets such as “Weightroom” and “Airball” as shots were missed and athletes tripped over themselves. Though this may seem like harmless banter, these chants sometimes went too far and for many, the atmosphere became unwelcoming and hostile. Maybe you were there to hear these chants and maybe you weren’t. Either way it is important, necessary even, to recognize that we acted in ways that were not better. Last year, we stood at each other’s homecoming games shouting equally distasteful chants about each other’s playing. There are many other examples of “opposing groups” that sometimes fail to understand each other and end up disrespecting each other. Within Parker, these disconnects are between groups such as the administration and the students, the teachers and the students, the underclassmen and the upperclassmen, the Upper Schoolers and the Lower Schoolers, “The Weekly” and “Scout,” annd Model UN and Student Government to name a few. All of these examples are not to say we should become completely homogenous. Sometimes separation strengthens things. However, we are saying that we should all act with more cognizance with people in opposing groups. This year, Parker and Latin seem to have established a new normal with more appropriate behavior at games. There was no “airball” shouting, no posters, or references to the “weight room.” There was cheering, of course, but student athletes left with their pride intact — even after losing. This is how we should handle our competition, with supportive cheering, smiling faces, and silly signs. This is the kind of behavior that is fun and engaging and valuable to a cohesive community. It is up to us as Parker students — and maybe Latin students if any are reading this — to uphold the healthily competitive culture.