Rivalries rarely affect friendships


Kaila Young, A&E Editor

After transitioning to high school, many students have found old friendships stretched between opposing schools when competing against each other in extracurriculars.

Some are able to overlook the interscholastic rivalry while others find they cannot.

Senior Ellen Perfect, vice president of Cal High’s Model United Nations Club, does not think rivalry is a problem at Cal.

“Cal High is relatively unique in that we don’t have a regional rivalry that is often seen in high school athletes,” Perfect said.

But freshman Austin Guo, a member of Cal’s marching band, thinks there is plenty of rivalry.

“We don’t really have a specific rival. We just try to win everything against everyone,” said Guo. “So  in a way, everyone in our division or league is an enemy.”

Student opinions vary on whether intense rivalry comes between friends, but most agree that it should not make a difference.

“There may be some bragging between friends, but I think friendship is stronger than something that would be broken just by rivalry,” said sophomore Alberta Wang, who plays for Dougherty Valley High School’s JV volleyball team.

Michael Pottinger, who coaches Cal’s men’s and women’s varsity golf teams, agrees.

“If it’s causing an awkward situation, then they’re not really good friends,” Pottinger said.

Perfect gives her take on rivalry at a more personal level.

“I have many friends who compete in MUN (for other schools), and although it can be hard at times to compete against close friends, there is a sort of unspoken honor code that we will all play fair and not let the outcome come between us,” said Perfect.

When asked if rivalry gives teams a better motivation to win, sophomore Christine Morelli, a member of Cal’s marching band, is adamant.

“Oh, definitely,” said Morelli. “We do what we have to, to win.Everyone wants to win. The trophies are huge.”

Guo has a similar idea.

“I think that rivalry motivates each team to win because it shows that your team’s hard work has paid off,” Guo said.

As a choir member, sophomore Mia Chevez is proof that rivalry does not just impact teams, but individuals as well.

“(Rivalry) gives me an excuse to push myself more,” said Chevez.

Looking at the bigger picture, some question why such rivalry exists between schools.

For Monte Vista High School junior Naomi Gupta, this question is a little more difficult to answer.

“It’s just always been like that,” said Gupta.

“Our biggest rival is San Ramon Valley, and ever since I started as a freshman, all I’ve heard is ‘San Ramon, San Ramon, San Ramon.’’’

Pottinger takes the literal approach.

“It’s about community and sharing,” Pottinger said.

“You want to be better than those you’re sharing with.”

After a moment of thought, sophomore Annelise Albert-Hall makes it simple.

“You have to have rivalry to have fun,” said Albert-Hall.

It is clear that rivalry has both a negative and a positive impact in the lives of students.

Rivalry can take place between friends or strangers.

But finding the middle ground helps keep friendships grounded.