Just like brothers


Ymani Wince, Editor-in-Chief

McCluer North and Kansas University have something in common – they hate black and gold. However, the Jayhawks-MizzouTigers rivalry goes far deeper than that between the Stars and the Hawks. One aspect is for certain, though. The matchups are intense.

“We want to be the best in the area,” senior cheerleader Breonna Ragland said.

North vs. Central games have always been a big deal, regardless of sport or activity. Although it is unclear how the rivalry began, the fierce competitiveness remains. Rivalries such as Mizzou and KU date back to the American Civil War. According to Sports Illustrated, the rivalry began in 1863, when Missourian pro-slavery rebels raided Lawrence, Kansas.

The rebels killed almost 200, and left the city to burn. Since then, the bitter feelings of Kansans toward Missourians have been passed down through generations known as, “the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi.” Although the rivalry between North and Central is not as intense, sometimes conflict does occur.

Conflict between rival opponents typically occurs as a result of a combination of factors including geographical proximity between the two schools, family and friend connections at both places and how well the two teams match up against each other. In regards to the North-Central game on Feb. 2, this was no different.

Both teams were among the top teams in the state. It was a battle for Suburban North supremacy and this led to plenty of intensity and conflict on the court. The Hawks continuously fouled North players. One player from Central even smacked the ball from a North player after the whistle was blown. This resulted in a technical foul, giving North even more of a boost to their consistent 10-point lead and eventual 79-69 victory.

Both the Stars’ and the Hawks’ frustrations eventually led to pushing and shoving between both teams just before the half.

“We’re the top two teams in the area,” said senior Jordon Granger.  Granger said he believes that the competition is so fierce because of how close both schools are, and people will either wear black or gold, or navy and silver.

Travis McBride, a junior at North, returned from Central after one year of his transfer.

“North has a more positive vibe,” he said. “Central is just more negative.”

Perhaps an explanation for why North and Central have harsh feelings cannot be settled with a simple answer. It is not a question that asks, “Why don’t the two schools like each other?” It is simply the question of “Why can’t the two get along?”

Rufus Conner, a senior at Hazelwood Central, says the rivalry is personal.

“We all grew up so close, and played on the same sports teams when we were little,” he said. “It’s only right we have some kind of sibling rivalry toward each other.”

Sibling rivalry is a plausible explanation for the conflict. Many players within Florissant and the surrounding areas have known one another for years, simply through playing sports together in outside leagues. Eventually, these players go their separate ways for high school to play for their school. When teams such as the Stars and Hawks play one another, it is not unlikely for the teams to already be acquainted with one another.

There is also the idea that those who attend rivalry games engage in conflict afterward simply because they may feel it is expected, possess poor sportsmanship, or just have the notion that school rivalries continue strictly for combative reasons.

“It’s only the people who take it too far,” Conner said. “They forget the fun aspect of it.”