By Paul Jones
Conflict runs the world we live in. Everywhere from world relations to big government politics, conflict is at the center of it.
The world of sports is no different, as the very essence of sports is pitting one person or team against another. From those competitions, come things like hatred, dislike, and some of the most exciting sporting events that the public has ever seen.
York county is one of the premium examples of how rivalries shape school communities and entire towns. The rivalries between Red Lion vs Dallastown, Dallastown vs Central, Spring Grove vs Southwestern have been staples in the county for years and have produced some of the most compelling sporting events.
But why? Why do these matchups produce such good competition? The duels have all of the usual aspects of a great rivalry, with things like being close in proximity, having a high level of play, and just plain old dislike for one another.
The rivalry that has the most to do with proximity is by fary Red Lion and Dallastown. The schools are only three miles apart and that has allowed for the players to come into close contact with each other off the field as well.
Most of the players in the rivalry know each other very well, and in some cases, even went to school with each other. Some of YAIAA’s best games were created from this familiarity. In 2013 and 2014, the Red Lion vs Dallastown game came to down to a late game drive with the final score being decided by only seven and five points respectively.
For a good rivalry to emerge, something has to be on the line when the teams the teams play. “It makes both teams better at the end of the day with both teams playing at their highest level and that’s what it’s all about,” Dallastown football player Zion Devance. Devance considers Central to be Dallastown’s biggest rival, and the games with the to teams always seem to have a team with a lot on the line in terms of county championships or district seeding.
Above all, pure and raw disdain is always present within a rivalry. The Spring Grove vs Southwestern rivalry goes under the radar somewhat, but in no way is it lacking in competitiveness and scorn.
“There’s trash talk sometimes all season leading up to the game, and when you’re in the game every point they score makes you sick to your gut,” Southwestern football player Nate Van Campen said. “We hate giving up anything to them, let alone losing.”
Rivalries are captivating not only to the players but to everyone around the game. The games mean a lot to the community and those supporters show out the most when thier team play their rival.
The great feuds between football teams in York County are in the fabric of what makes athletics in the area so great. The games mean more than just winning and losing.
It is about an identity that a player, coach, or fan has in relation to the other team. And coming up on the wrong end of the stick can leave a person sick to their stomach for years and years.
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