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United yet divided for the upcoming rivalry game

Originally one school, now two, the North vs. South rivalry has been a Grosse Pointe tradition for years. The biggest celebration is during the North vs. South football game, where students, staff and community members gather to see the two schools play for not just the win, but the bragging rights. This tradition dating back many years, is not one taken lightly by the community.

The North Vs. South football game is one of the biggest games of the year for both teams. According to South Football Coach Chad Hepner, this rivalry has been recognized by the Military as a “Great American Rivalry Game.” Students from both schools pack the student sections to watch the highly anticipated event, and tensions are very high.

“I’ve been a player and a coach in the rivalry game for over 25 years,” Hepner said. “I think it’s one of the best rivalry games in the state.”

Behind the scenes, a lot of work goes into this week. Whether it be through South’s Student Association or the football team, it is not taken lightly.

Audrey MacGillis ’25

“It’s a really fun and intense week of practice and preparation for the game,” Hepner said. “It is extra meaningful because most players on each team know each other.”

Each year, students patiently await this football game in particular, including Lotty Gates ’26. Whether it be dressing up, school spirit or football itself, there’s always something to look forward to.

“My favorite part of the rivalry is the spirit and excitement it brings out in the school,” Gates said. “It’s really fun and gives something extra to look forward to.”

Even with the strong rivalry, the schools have been working towards doing more collaborative events. According to North Athletic Director Michelle Davis, in recent years the community has come together to participate in a shared tailgate before the big game. While a newer tradition, it has helped small businesses create selling opportunities and helped organizations spread awareness for their causes. Aside from bigger community efforts, each school participates in its form of celebration.

Audrey MacGillis ’25

“At North, over the past few years, either the North Cheerleaders or a group of North students have worked with our administrative team to host a spirit week during the week leading up to the game,” Davis said. “Spirit days have included pajama day, throwback day, dress like a teacher/dress like a student day, Barbie/Ken day and many more.”

With the extensive past and further future of the North vs. South rivalry, it has become not just a football game that makes it important.

“Although it is a rivalry game and competitive event I believe the focus over the past several years has shifted to focus on coming together as a community, not just a North/South school community,” Davis said. “But all the Grosse Pointes come out and support all our students and athletes and showcase their talents and show their pride in their school and our community as a whole.”

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About the Contributor
Audrey MacGillis '25
Audrey MacGillis '25, Copy Editor
Second-year staffer, Audrey MacGillis ’25 spends her time doing various activities. Outside of school, she is a hardworking competitive swimmer for South, Grosse Pointe Gators, and the Grosse Pointe Park Mutants in the summer. In her free time, she listens to music or enjoys reading. Her favorite artists are Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers, who she even got to meet. “Now that were back into the school routine, I’m excited to be able to post stories and have fun writing again,” MacGillis said. Alongside her fun activities, she is excited to be a copy editor for the first time. “I love Journalism because it gets me outside of my box and I’m able to talk to a lot of new people,” MacGillis said.

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