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Hazardous Homecoming: Rivalry writes new chapter

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Hazardous Homecoming: Rivalry writes new chapter

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“There is a fine line between friendly banter between competitors, but when you steal or vandalize property, that is when you have taken it too far,” said Assistant Principal, Matthew Carroll.

Friday, September 15, was the homecoming game against the Augusta Orioles. For the whole homecoming week there has been some conflict between the two schools, like vandalising property and some exchanging of verbal threats on social media. Though this is a regular thing for sports and their fans, some say that Circle took it too far.

A prank that stirred Augusta High School soon became dangerous for Circle students. A couple Circle students decided it would be a fun prank on Augusta to take one of their signs just for the homecoming week. What these students didn’t know was that this sign was a prized possession to Augusta High. A grandmother of one of the Augusta students had handmade the sign herself as a gift to the Augusta football team. Having this piece of work taken from the property of Augusta made the students, faculty, and community lose respect for the Circle Thunderbirds.

“Circle is a fantastic district, from my children’s experience they made tons of friends who were great influences and the teachers cared for them as they were their own, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from a school,” Cheryl Elrod, mother of Ethan, Logan, and Makenna Elrod, former students of the Circle district who all have graduated from Augusta High. “I just expected a little more maturity from Circle students, they may not have put into consideration the hard work and time that went into the sign, but they did know whose property they were on.”

Augusta kept to themselves for a couple days after the incident, but the more tweets that were posted by Augusta students, the more fired up they became. The students of Circle were not helping any by replying back with sarcastic and rude remarks. Soon, students from both schools were ready to bring something to the table on the night of the homecoming game.

“We had word on the street that we had borrowed a sign from Augusta, and seeing signs and tags on the cars in the Circle parking lot before the parade, we knew there was some back and forth but we were not expecting any open conflict,” Carroll said.

With the parade, the crowning, and the dance going on for homecoming, there were more Circle fans at the game than usual. What brought in almost all of the Augusta student body, was the conflicting situation. They wanted to get back at Circle for ripping off their property. This Homecoming game was one of the busiest and most populated that Circle has had in years, and though Circle knew about the conflicts and dangers that were waiting at the game, they did not bring in any extra security to make sure the game didn’t get out of hand.

“Carroll, Dreifort, and Duryea were really the only type of security I could point out at the game, I mean I saw a random cop here and there in the parking lot but that’s normal,” said Aimee Wentworth, 12.

Even though Augusta got what they wanted by winning and getting their sign back, chants back and forth between student sections was not enough to quench their thirst for revenge. During half time, the entire Augusta student section ran in a big group to bombarde Circle’s student section, showing them, (according to Devin Buckingham, graduate of Augusta who attended the game,) ‘what it is like to get their property taken from them’. This stirred many feelings in the Circle student section from insecurity to anger. The chants got louder and even parents and kids joined in the dispute.

Towards the end of the game, Principal Todd Dreifort rounded up the Circle student section and had them leave to the left of the bleachers to avoid any type of physical conflict with the Augusta student section. Students listened and obeyed these rules and moved in a calm manner, many were quite disappointed for many reasons, like having to walk around the entire school to get to their car because it was parked on the opposite side of where they were leaving. Others were disappointed because they wanted to get into hand to hand conflict with the opposing side.

“There were no punishments from our perspective because we returned the property to them that very evening, and quite frankly I am proud of our students for staying in their own stands and behaving themselves during and after the game,” said Carroll.

Through all this conflict along with the negative vibes, there was still a game going on.

“It seemed like everyone at the game went there for the drama. I played pretty hard and my friends came to watch me play, but all they talked about after the game was how loud they were yelling or how bad they wanted to get into a fight,” said Toby Schmidt, 12, a former Circle student who now goes to Augusta High. “The conflict happened on the field as well, there was some of my former football teammates who were talking trash to me just because I go to Augusta now.”

Friendly bantering between rivals can be fun. Going out of the way to start conflict with school rivals is not always the answer. The school spirit of cheering on the football teams was drown out in the chaos of revenge. Come support the teams playing and leave the vandalism, taunting and stealing out of the homecoming week hype.

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Hazardous Homecoming: Rivalry writes new chapter