OPINION: School rivalries exasperate

Fiona McCarthy, Staff Reporter

School rivalries are inevitable. One sports team starts talking smack about a team from another school; then the rival players get involved, followed by the fans. At FHS, we have the privilege of having not one, but TWO schools to constantly gripe with, so one would think the students would divide the animosity, right? Wrong. We multiply it – and it’s getting out of hand.
It seems that since Kettle Run High School opened in 2008, the county rivalries have escalated to more than just talking big at sports games. Nowadays, we compete daily to see who has the better students, better classes and even better buildings. Why would anyone even argue about that? Unless the students secretly built the new addition, I don’t think we have any control over the design. And sure, one can argue about which school has the best students, but what is the standard unit for measuring the coolness of the student body anyways?
Students here compare themselves to Kettle Run and Liberty simply based on broad stereotypes. I’m not saying that Kettle Run and Liberty students don’t make stereotyped judgements; goodness knows every time I scroll through my Twitter feed after any sports game with rivals, it’s full of people from all three schools arguing about how their school is sooooooo much better and the other schools are soooooo awful. There’s nothing wrong with saying you love your school or how excited you are about a team’s victory – I’m all for school pride. I have a vicious bias, however, against people who celebrate personal victory by putting down everyone else, and I have seen countless people from all three schools being arrogant, rude, and unnecessarily insulting. Ask almost anyone here and they’ll say Kettle Run is the worst in regards to this, but I’d say we’re all pretty bad.
I can understand feeling a little prejudice towards other schools. I have a tiny bit of a personal vendetta against Liberty for stealing the 2010 Bird Bowl from us, and honestly, Kettle Run just annoys me and I have no logical reason for that. Now, does that mean I’m going to repeat ad nauseam how much I “hate” them, or tell those students that their existence is somehow worth less because they live in an area that happened to be zoned for that school? Maybe I’ll privately think that while I wallow in bitterness when either school beats us in football, but I will never say that out loud and mean it, and if I ever become that idiotic, somebody please kick some sense into me.
Recently, our county rivalries have included daily Twitter drama and the pointless practice of rock painting. Really, guys? Painting each other’s rocks? Sometimes I feel like Freud would have a field day with us. Why does absolutely everything have to become a competition? I can barely breathe Kettle Run’s name without some belligerent jerk yelling, “I hate those arrogant…,” followed by a string of words not suitable to be printed. And heaven knows if I went to Kettle Run or Liberty any given day, I might get spit on for saying I loved FHS. I get it. We all love our schools. Awesome. There’s just no reason to take ourselves so seriously, because no one else in the world does. We’re here for four years, and then we leave. Let’s all calm down a bit.