by Alex Mowatt-Larssen
Eagle Editorial Board
Strake Jesuit, whom many of us refer to as “the jebbies,” are undoubtedly our biggest rivals. Crosstown all-boys Catholic schools run by two different orders of priests are bound not to care for each other, but our rivalry with Strake is one of the better ones around. Yes, St. Pius X is still in TAPPS, but our relationship with them does not have the passion nor the depth in history that ours has with Strake.
The first couple of weeks of school prove Strake is our archrival. Every freshman class that enters St. Thomas is indoctrinated with the mentality that Strake is not our friend. The football game is one of the most exciting of the year for the underclassmen teams. The varsity game, although we lost this year, was the best in a while since we were the better team on the field and in the stands.
I do not think that we should ever drop a rivalry with so much tradition even if the game has no post season implications.
Along with the football game comes the annual smack talking on the Facebook page created for the game. Students can spend the entire Strake week checking the page to respond to their post or just laugh at the long threads of arguments. St. Pius games never generate the same type of hype, so they try to create it by commenting on the Strake game facebook page, and even showing up at the game only to be forced out of the student section. I would say us and Strake are much more similar in student body type, and St. Pius kids just are annoying, making the Jesuit rivalry more special.
For every sport, there is only one game against Strake Jesuit. The football and basketball Strake games each year are two of the most attended games by students and alumni alike for each of those sports. But if you miss one game against St. Pius, there is always another at home or a short drive up Shepherd. Even if they depend on our playoff runs, there are only 4 schools total in our district; it is not like there is a tough fight every year for playoff spots. For other sports, they do not get the same attention from the community and the city, but for the athletes it does not make a difference. For most sports it is always a close game against Strake, but if we dismantle Pius in a sport like basketball, there is no point in it being a huge rivalry.
The bottom line is that Strake Jesuit is our archrival. If you asked your buddies over on Bellaire Boulevard, I am sure they would agree. For me, having friends at Jesuit just makes the rivalry all the more intense. They may be your friend outside of school, but when athletes hit the field against Strake it is always all business, and knowing they are on the other sideline makes it even better. No other rivalry, especially St. Pius X, can match that.