Highland Park rivalry remains alive despite two year hiatus

By Sam Elliott | Staff Writer

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The Highland Park rivalry shirt from the 2011 school year, which was based off of a quote from Kanye West at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo credit: Sam Elliott

The varsity football game against Highland Park on Oct. 3 at Highland Park Stadium was the first in two years against the past rival. Despite a two-year gap because of the schools being in different athletic districts, the rivalry is still alive.

“In seventh and eighth grade, I went to the Highland Park games, and It was really fun. Some kids in junior high dressed preppy to make fun of Highland Park, and some kids even dressed in kilts to make fun of the Highland Park mascot, the Scot,” junior Cameron Weir said.

As a rival, the Highland Park sports games have been emphasized at Pearce. There were specific shirts made by both schools just for the one game, and in the past, the pep rallies for the Highland Park games were big school spirit events.

“I remember my brother and sister getting excited for the Highland Park games and wearing their Highland Park rivalry shirts. When I got to Pearce, we were in a new district separate from Highland Park. I was very disappointed because we didn’t get to play them, and I thought the Highland Park rivalry was bigger than the Richardson rivalry,” Cameron said.

This year, Highland Park moved up to 6A, putting it in the same athletic district as Pearce. The rivalry was revitalized as games with Highland Park resumed and the activities of the rivalry, to some degree, came back.

“A lot of the freshmen dressed preppy to the game and on Friday and got excited for the game,” freshman Kyle Dreyer said.

Highland Park won the game 56-0. Highland Park also had the lead of 21-0 in the first quarter started by an interception, which was returned for a touchdown in the first few minutes. This was followed by another touchdown in the next two minutes, making it a 14-0 lead five minutes into the game.

The three touchdown per quarter trend was followed in the second quarter while the third quarter saw two touchdowns by Highland Park and their eventual shut out in the fourth. Pearce’s performance consisted of nine completed passes and only a 32 percent completion rate. Highland Park had a short field to work with for most of the game, which was a strong contributing factor to the their win.

“My voice was hoarse after the first quarter because I was frustrated with the results of the game. Although the game got out of hand early and any chance of winning seemed slim, the rivalry and game were still fun,” junior Parker Self said.

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