Redefining A Rivalry


Over the years, the biggest event that STH students looked forward to was the Strake vs St. Thomas football game. The event that sat at the heart of the rivalry, and had everyone from alumni and seniors to freshmen and future students rushing to the bleachers for the game. Now we have lost that game, as Strake is no longer playing us normally in their season and claims they don’t have time for another game, which we all know means they are just too scared to play us in football. This has left us with very few ways to compete against Strake, the best way being rugby.

The three most competitive sports we face Strake in are rugby, ultimate Frisbee, and chess. The best way to keep the similar kind of rivalry we had in football is obviously with rugby, and not only because of the big hits. St. Thomas’ ultimate Frisbee team is so much better than Strake’s that it leaves spectators feeling more disappointed in Strake than they are proud of STH. Chess is a serious place of rivalry for us because in order to become state champions in chess we have to go through Strake. However, it is hard to imagine the entire student body cheering as much for a beautifully calculated checkmate as they would for a hard earned touchdown.

Meanwhile, rugby delivers everything you need for a greater than great rivalry. It delivers the same contact and big hits, the same level of strategy at a faster pace, the same opportunity for a spirited crowd, and adds an all new aspect of underlying respect- something that should not be missing from students of a great school, even in rivalry.

The competitiveness of these rugby games is also that of a great rivalry, with STH on the path to victory. Our last game against Strake should have been a tie, if it was not for a disallowed score in the nail biting, final moments of the game. Strake is also currently rated as one of the best rugby teams in the country. In order to win state, we have to go through Strake.

To top it all off there is a good relationship between the athletes of both teams, very similar to the good relationships between many students of the two schools. Since rugby is such a small sport in Texas, a lot of the players know each other. Some have even played rugby together in middle school or on club teams. A lot of the players from both teams are friends. And if attempting to beat the life out of your opponent shortly before eating and talking at the same table with them isn’t fit to redefine a rivalry, I can’t imagine what is. So next time your Eagles are battling against Strake, go cheer them on, because whether our rivalry is in football, rugby, chess, or even living on only through the students themselves, we can rely on one fact: