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The Daily Bird

The student news site of Alton High School

The Daily Bird

The student news site of Alton High School

The Daily Bird

The student news site of Alton High School

The Daily Bird

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Long Time Rivalry Creates Healthy Competition

Alton v. Marquette Soccer game September 18, 2023
Picture by senior Clara Velloff

Crowds cheering, the clock ticking –  from game to game, the ongoing rivalry between Alton and Marquette is one that can’t be stopped. There is no sure indication of how far back the rivalry between the schools go, but it has been going on since at least 1996. No one has a sure answer of why there is a rivalry between the two, however there are some speculations.

Athletic Director Eric Roberson said, “I think the AHS/Marquette rivalry exists because many of our students [Marquette and AHS] know each other, and played sports together growing up, and were on the same little league teams.” Senior Redbird Nest leader Luke Norton said, “Students believe that the rivalry is held to prove who runs the town of Alton.” Marquette senior Thomas Wendle said, “I think the only reason we have a rivalry between Alton and Marquette is because of how close the schools are together.”

No matter the reasons behind why there is a rivalry, there is no doubt that the rivalry is a way to bring the community together. As Alton and Marquette do not get many chances to play against each other in sports due to the limitations, it is an enjoyment to all when they do. “It’s fun seeing the school and community come together and join each other for a fun and intense night,” Norton said.

There is no doubt that the rivalry between the two schools bring excitement to the players and crowds. When people hear about rivalries, the first thought is who brought on the rivalry first, or at leas initiated it. This is not the case with these two whatsoever.

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“It is a healthy rivalry. Huge crowds always show up to the soccer games (boys and girls), and Marquette has been very strong in many sports, and very competitive in those rival sports.” Eric said, “Rivalries are good for schools, and athletics.  It gives the students an exciting night of athletics to attend, and gives them a chance to show their competitive spirit.”

This sports rivalry is an expression of the school spirit shown in both schools. During the games there is no doubt that both schools tease each other with their cheers back and forth. The crowds both get heated when their team is losing or when the other crowd is chanting back at them. However outside of the crowds students are still able to come together and be a community.

“I think the rivalry is only school related and doesn’t affect relationships outside of the events between the two schools.” Thomas said, “I see this first hand because I have lots of friends from Alton.”

The rivalry between Alton and Marquette is one of the longest running high school rivalries as well as one of the most intense. “I don’t think the rivalry will ever come to an end.” Luke said, “Not only is it very enjoyable to watch, it’s also a chance for the community of Alton to come together to support both high schools and their successes.”

With this rivalry between the two schools not planning to come to an end anytime soon, there is plenty of time for the students to enjoy the excitement of the games to come.

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