The “Rubber Chicken”, the “Stinky Sneaker”, “Groovy Shoes”, the “Golden Throne”…
For high school students in Spokane, Washington, these trophies represent the ultimate bragging rights. As we all know, there is nothing like beating your rival. For the past decade, rival high schools in Spokane have competed in the “Spirit Wars”. It’s a competition between two student bodies centered around a basketball game. The criteria? Who has the most passion, spirit, and teamwork.
Sentinel High School dance team coach Rachel Danielson knows personally what the event meant to her, and her hometown.
“It’s also a really awesome high school memory for both high schools, for everyone involved. It was like a national holiday in Spokane, so I wanted to bring that here.” Danielson says.
One of the fiercest rivalries in the state of Montana is between the Spartans of Sentinel, and the Knights of Hellgate.
“Ok, get ready for Hellgate-Sentinel. It’s going to be pretty wild, and pretty rowdy typically.” says Sentinel junior Sarah Armstrong.
“I feel like people pretend there isn’t tension, but there definitely is always a little tension. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it’s always there.” says Hellgate senior Emma Davis.
While it’s not quite the Hatfields and the McCoys, the crosstown battle gets inherited and passed along through the generations.
“My whole family has been Spartans since Spartans have been a thing. Like we have been here for so long, so it goes way back into my family.” says Sentinel junior Lily Beck.
“It just goes back for a while. My mom went to high school here, and she has just always had this rivalry with Sentinel, so it just runs in the family in a way.” says Hellgate senior Grant Bowditch.
Now like Spokane, the Missoula crosstown rivalry has an interesting name… bring in the Golden Goat.
“It will definitely start slow, but hopefully in the next few years, it will get bigger and bigger.” says Sentinel junior Aisley Allen.
And for both student bodies, the trash talking has already begun.
“We are so peppy. We have so much spirit, and all these kids are so passionate. But, we are just better. We are just going to win, there is nothing else to it.” laughs Armstrong.
“We are loud, and energize, and we deserve a win, the Golden Goat.” laughs Davis.
“I just think we have a lot more spirit, we love our team, we love our colors, and I think in the end we are going to come out with the better spirit squad.” says Bowditch.
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