School Rivalry Crates New Allies

When someone mentions “school rivals” at MHS, many students automatically think of North Bend. The belief that the Bulldogs are Marshfield’s personal enemy has been ingrained in Pirates for as long as most can remember. However, more recently, Siuslaw and Sutherlin have been added to the list of Marshfield rivals.
When Siuslaw students took to Twitter to bash on the MHS volleyball team, most students did not have any second thoughts when it came to defending the players. The result was a mass of “Twitter fights” between users from each school, and Sutherlin soon joined the mix.

While competition is good, people seem to be hiding behind keyboards. The hateful things students write makes one wonder if they truly believe that by putting these things on the Internet, they are somehow lessening the ability of other sports teams. If things are said that cannot be backed up, then posting them online is pointless. Also, posts like this are so common many students may forget some of it could be considered cyber bullying. Many schools have consequences for anyone who is involved in this form of bullying.

Since MHS dropped from 5A classification down to 4A, some students from Sutherlin and Siuslaw saw this as a reflection of the quality of the sports teams. Those who used this as a way to target MHS are clearly uneducated about the requirements of each classification. Marshfield moved down due to a drop in the number of enrolled students, not because the teams were unable to compete with athletes in 5A.

The fact that such an outburst can come from schools that, before the movement of Marshfield down to 4A, had hardly ever played each other brings the realization that the rivalry is no longer just between the Pirates and Bulldogs.

North Bend students must have also seen this because they soon came to the rescue and an agreement was reached. When Marshfield played Sutherlin in volleyball, the Bulldogs supported the girls; in exchange, when North Bend played Siuslaw in football, Marshfield students would cheer for their cross-town school.

Compared to stories heard about past conflicts between the rival schools, the relationship between MHS and NBHS has changed dramatically. In the past, at least one fight always broke out at football games and constant back and forth pranks were played.  Students today do not indulge in these practices as often, perhaps because of stricter school rules or city laws. The bonding and support Marshfield and North Bend showed for each other bring to light that rivalry between schools can be a good thing. I know when I have a meet against a rival school it gives me fuel to try even harder, all in the hopes of sending them home empty handed.

As for the online fueled conflicts, if a student is going to post a comment they should be informed about their statement. People should avoid targeting certain team members, or students because this could cause even more problems and lead to bullying. Rivalries should not lead to hostile sporting events and comments, but instead be used to fuel the competitive spirit and pride of a school.