Issue 4: Letter From The Co-Editors-In-Chief

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Dear Readers,

As a result of the many articles in this issue concerning the rivalry between Lawrence High and Free State, we decided to discuss some of the events that occurred in the past three weeks.

Prior to every football game, the sports announcer says, “Sportsmanship is forever.”

However, members of the student bodies from both schools failed to follow this advice at times.

Crude T-shirts, vandalism and twitter fights reflected poorly upon individual students from each school.

Roughly 30 members from the senior class at Free State were banned from the football game on Nov. 1 because of $200 worth of damage to our school. These seniors covered the Chesty statue in tuna and a FSHS shirt. They also spread toilet paper across the front of the office building of LHS.

In retaliation, LHS seniors made signs for the game reading, ‘Where’s Your Seniors?’. Additionally, they dressed a fake skeleton in a FSHS cheerleading uniform.

The majority of the remaining members of FSHS’s student section were seen donning shirts that read, “LHS Where All the Peasants Go.”

As a result of these controversial shirts, many LHS students felt personally victimized by the implication that Lawrence High students are lesser. Free State’s comment on the socioeconomic status of Lawrence High students hit a large number of students on a personal level.

Although rivalries are a great way to raise school spirit and camaraderie, many students felt some took it too far.

A few FSHS parents were upset the LHS administrators “let their students vandalize” the FSHS football stadium.

In reality, LHS students simply followed the tradition of throwing newspaper shreds in the air at kick-off. Simultaneously, FSHS students jeopardized the health of potential allergic students by throwing up baby powder.

Despite tensions between the rival schools, LHS students have shaken off the implications that we are inferior.

We believe both schools crossed the line, especially on social media. Individuals stereotyped their rival school, and disregarded how their messages would affect their peers.

Student body, we urge you to be the bigger school and push all prejudice behind you. Staying true to your school doesn’t always mean bashing another. Lions, let our motto regarding sportsmanship be put into practice.

 

Thanks,

Kendra Schwartz and Ashley Hocking

Issue 4: Rival high schools will no longer play in same district

By Ashley Hocking

Lawrence High and Free State have played in the same football district for the past 17 consecutive years. That will not be the case next season.

Every year, the 32 Class 6A high schools in the state of Kansas are rationed into two districts. As a result of two Class 5A schools moving up and one Class 6A school moving down, the border shifted.

“They draw a line east and west. The line goes right through Lawrence,” varsity football coach Dirk Wedd said. “Free State is the farthest school east in the west division. We’re the farthest school west in the east division.”

Beginning next season, the LHS football team will play against Olathe North, Olathe Northwest and Olathe East in district games, while Free State will battle Washburn Rural, Topeka and Manhattan.

Free State varsity football coach, Bob Lisher, dislikes the new district divide.

“[We] have to play who the state tells us to play,” Lisher said. “[I] would rather stay in the east, but we have no control over that.”

The LHS football program, on the other hand, is looking forward to expanding its horizon eastward.

“It’s kind of neat in that we open the season with Blue Valley West, who we’ve never played before. So, that’ll be something to look forward to,” Wedd said. “I’ve been doing this so long that you really can’t worry about it. The state decides all that stuff.”

The football team will not have the opportunity to play Free State at the end of the season anymore.

“I was kind of frustrated because it’ll be my senior year,” junior Zakary McAlister

said. “I wanted to end the regular season playing them.”

The cross-town rivals will go head-to-head for the third game of the season next year. The teams will only face each other in the postseason if each earns a spot in the state championship.

“I don’t think it will be the same if it’s not the last game,” McAlister said. “There will still be rivalry, but it won’t be the same.”

Without a season-long build up of anticipation for the face-off, junior Stevin Hays fears the game won’t have the same intensity.

“Since it is for playoffs [now], I guess it won’t have as much urgency next year,” Hays said. “But it’s still a huge game.”

However, not everyone on the football team shares this apprehension. Some players do not think the early city showdown will change the atmosphere of the game.

“I think it will have just as much hype as it always would,” junior Luke Zenger said. “It’ll be just as big of a deal, but it won’t really be fighting over state playoff berth, which will make it a little less competitive.”

Overall, Wedd expects a strong season in 2014. During this year’s season, he added more underclassmen than usual in rotation under the Friday night lights. A few years ago, underclassmen receiving playing time would have been rare.

“We’re playing as many as nine sophomores right now,” Wedd said. “They’re taking their lumps this year, but I think they will grow up and mature. We’ll have a great year next year.”