Historic rivalry inspires healthy competition, united community

Graphic by Eva McCord 21

Graphic by Eva McCord ’21

The Tower Editorial Board

When Homecoming season has come to pass and the routine of school life sets in, both North and South students are reminded of the familiar, year-round event: the North-South rivalry.  For some students, this competition is an opportunity to truly show their Blue Devil– or Norsemen– pride. We don our blue, green, and gold, sing our fight songs, buy ticket after ticket, and rush to cheer for our schools at the high-stakes games.

As One GP has established itself as an integral part of our school’s goals and values, we have grown to question the appropriateness of the rivalry.  We have come to ask ourselves that if we are truly One GP, is the rivalry not directly contradicting our hopes for school unity?

The answer to this question is simpler than it appears.  We at The Tower believe that though it is important to keep the rivalry within the game, both the One GP movement and the rivalry can exist simultaneously, encouraging both school and city pride.

We understand the importance of being considerate to our opponents; though healthy competition is expected and encouraged, behaving rudely towards or alienating our rivals demonstrates a lack of understanding of what both One GP and the rivalry both represent.

One GP is about respect and understanding.  It is about knowing your own value in the community, and how you and your peers are more similar than it appears.  The movement advocates for humbleness and that you strive to be the best student, friend, and neighbor you can be, regardless of which school you hail from.

The rivalry, on the other hand, is about honoring your peers and being proud of what your school represents.  It is about supporting your individual team, recognizing where you come from, and simply having fun.

The rivalry is about appreciating your team, while One GP is about appreciating the other side.

These two principles can coexist; you don’t need to wear all three colors to be kind.

In embracing this, one can see how the rivalry transcends football games and homecoming season– it is rooted in multiple disciples of our school, and encourages us to represent both schools in the best possible way.  

Extracurriculars such as football and soccer thrive off of the healthy competition between North and South, while activities such as the robotics team are supported by the efforts of both schools.  Amidst all this, both The Tower and The North Pointe stand as beacons in the community for information, guidance, and integrity. If anything, the very fact that the two schools are so different and so individual acts as the driving force by which both student bodies encourage the other to be better than before.

Competition can breed divisions, feelings of both superiority and inferiority, and differences when its sole focus is winning another Friday night game.  The heart of the game is exactly that; to play the game and relish in the company of their peers. If you are cheering out of spite, you are no longer cheering for your team– you are cheering to feel better than others.

And yet, when built on the foundation that we– both North and South students– are practicing the same ideals, competition can cultivate unity and togetherness– we are One GP, fighting for One GP.