Blood. Sweat. Tears.
These are all components of a fierce rivalry.
The St. Thomas-St. Pius rivalry runs deep in tradition and never fails to put on an incredible on-field performance.
Recently the rivalry has been brought to a new level, as both teams have finished in first and second place in TAPPS district 3-5A, with the two teams going a combined 30-7 over the past 3 years. In fact, the last meeting of the two district contenders just a week ago caught the attention of the local media and the local community.
After an intense week of voting, the first St. Thomas-St. Pius clash of the season was dubbed ABC 13’s High School Football Game of the Week. This marked the first time the rivalry has been given this great honor and the first time any St. Thomas game has received such recognition.
The Eagles and Panthers won the public vote in a landslide, defeating other notable games such as Episcopal vs. Kinkaid, La Porte vs. Deer Park, and Seven Lakes vs. Katy.
The mammoth match-up lived up to the hype too. In an instant classic thriller, the Eagles edged the Panthers 27-20 on a rainy night at Granger Stadium. The victory was sealed when senior Jarius Pollard scooped up a fumble in the Panther’s endzone to score the game winning touchdown.
The rivalry always seems to produce great action and captivates the school community. The biannual match-up is one of senior Michael Payne’s favorite traditions about St. Thomas.
“This rivalry is my favorite district game by far. The atmosphere and the level of intensity are awesome.”
Senior Jaren Bradford says that the Pius game is tied with the Strake game for his favorite rivalry.
“The game is exhilarating. I can’t properly describe it in words, it’s just too awesome for words,” Bradford said. “The environment is incredible and the students go crazy. It’s just amazing.”
Although not as historical as the Strake rivalry, the Pius rivalry brings its own unique intensity and season defining implications that no other game can match.
Senior Diego Singleton says that when it comes down to it, he prefers the Pius rivalry.
“I love both rivalries. But in the four years I’ve been here, the Pius game has always been more special,” Singleton said.
“Whether it be the atmosphere or the actual implications that the game has, it has always been more fun for me.”
The Eagles travel up Shepherd Drive to St. Pius on Nov. 8 for the regular season finale.
With the district title and bragging rights on the line, this game will surely not disappoint.