John F. Kennedy High School

The uncivil side of high school sports

In today’s high school sports, a rivalry between opposing schools can spark excitement and anticipation for when their teams meet during the season. It gives a chance for the athletes and students to prove which school is superior in that certain sport, but can it also be used as an excuse to make a mockery of the opposing side’s overall life just to make them feel inferior. Can Kennedy ever take it too far?

It’s one thing backing up your school team and supporting them in a mannerly way, but these days, some students can take it too far and can even make the argument irrelevant to sports and take it to a personal level.

The most highly anticipated game of the 2014 football season was the big match between Kennedy and Granada Hills as the home side was packed with fans in hopes of their team bringing “Tina” (the rivalry trophy) back home as Granada has won it the last three years.

But as game day got closer and tensions between the two schools began to build, a huge Twitter dispute took place that made both sides take things a little too far as opposing schools exchanged a series of discordant comments that defined the phrase bitter rivalry.

One student from Granada Hills specifically tweeted, “Why are we arguing with them? they’re gonna be the ones asking us for jobs in the future anyways.”

This is a prime example of a student making an irrelevant statement in terms of the sport itself as dispute between school academics were being argued about at that point.

Junior Saul Rulvacaba briefly stated, “I think that sometimes they take it too far in the way they represent their school. Fans are meant to support their teams, but at times that only make them look bad. It creates tension to the point where it’s not even a sports rivalry; it’s more of an unnecessary and pointless argument backed up by no facts and arrogant comments.”

Even players themselves get fed up with this issue, like junior varsity football player Matthew Gavilanes who preached, “As an athlete, it’s the things like rivalries that make you fall in love with the sport, but rivalries shouldn’t be used to people’s advantage to talk trash and get personal with other schools.”

As this dilemma can stir up some heated controversy between students and players, the administration has also taken a look at this and can see the negative effects it has for not only the team themselves, but also the school.

“A key element is for administrators, teachers, coaches, students, and staff to emphasize the importance of keeping all rivalries and competitions healthy. Rivalries are unbecoming when students turn to vandalism, violence, or other negative outlets, using the school rivalry arena as an excuse,” said Assistant Principal Brunel Merilus. “Students need to hold one another accountable for their actions. Inappropriate behavior reflects poorly on not just individual students but the school as a whole.”

With these ongoing conflicts between schools and sports, it’s needless to say that there is a limit to what people can say to one another and those limits are being ignored by a handful of students and players themselves. At the end of the day, the bickering starts from the topic of who’s better at what game and is looked at by others to just keep it that way, a debate on who’s better at what sport, nothing more. Anything else can lead to consequences or tragedies.