Crosstown rivals renew series next Tuesday, Kewpies won past two


art by Maddi Mueller

Brayden Parker

[heading]Rock Bridge vs. Hickman back on the court[/heading]
art by Yasmeen El-Jayyousi
art by Maddy Mueller
It was the year of the Kewpie. The final year of competition solely between Columbia’s two high schools crashed furiously to the finish line of 2012 and left behind spectacular performances for history to remember.
A combined four points decided two football games, and two basketball games went to three overtimes. The football team knocked off the Bruins twice, ending a three-year reign for RBHS in the Providence Bowl. Likewise, on the court, the basketball team took down their crosstown rival twice, concluding an impressive streak of 21 straight wins for the Bruins.
While the overtime thrillers and outstanding plays made last year’s rivalry series memorable, the bad blood that boiled over during the heart-stopping finishes resurfaced a friction that the rivalry and its fans missed.
Hickman students and fans alike made sights at both the Sept. Providence Bowl, and the Jan. basketball game at RBHS. Following both contests, a 22-21 win for football and a 78-74 victory in three overtimes for basketball, purple and gold flooded the fields of play, undoubtedly celebrating their latest triumph over the Bruins.
It was the latter contest, however, that sparked controversy. After the conclusion of the basketball game on Jan. 22, 2013 multiple videos surfaced on YouTube showing the post-game celebration of HHS students with players. It appeared as if then RBHS junior Nick Norton was trapped underneath the mass of Kewpies and fellow teammate Vencel Tigue attempted to pull Norton from the frenzie. Other videos revealed an unnamed female adult confronting Tigue moments later. The next morning rumors spread around both campuses about an altercation at the game.
Ultimately these rumors were laid to rest as school officials and Columbia Public School’s superintendent Chris Belcher reviewed the case and determined no fight took place. It was merely a celebration by Kewpie fans that entangled both the RBHS team and fans as they attempted to leave the court and no ill measures were taken by either side.
“I’m not sure that I would describe what happened last year as a fight,” RBHS athletic director David Egan said. “We had a highly competitive game. It went into triple overtime. Getting caught in the emotions, fans stormed the floor and there was sort of an effort to extricate the players. I think it was unfortunate and was not the ideal situation but I also don’t think it was this big fight. I think that is a misrepresentation of what happened.”
The fact of the matter remains that the melee that occurred last Jan. sparked a rivalry that has continued long past it’s expected expiration. Despite the inclusion of Battle athletics into the prep sports scene, the Bruins and the Kewpies are at it again in 2013. RBHS won another close Providence Bowl in September, a contest that took place at Hickman’s LeMone Field, the same location of the Bruin’s 2012 season ending loss.
This Tuesday, the Kewpies will also return to the scene of the crime, but perhaps the scene of a crime they caused. RBHS may have been on an impressive 21-game winning streak yet HHS has won the past two straight and looks forward to yet another.
But it is on the Bruin’s shoulders to get things back on track. They return four seniors that desire revenge on their homecourt against their city rivals. One of those seniors, Travon Tumey will lead his team into the much anticipated game.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but we can match well,” Tumey said. “We’re not going to give this win to them. I doubt that they are going to come over to our court this year and get that [win] on us on our home turf.”
While boys basketball coach Jim Scanlon and his staff will take care of the game on the court, the team is leaving extracurriculars to the fans and to school officials.
Egan said school officials will talk over with Bruin’s fan bases, such as Bru Crew about fan conduct. However, he also believes, for such a big game, there needs to be a lot of emotional support by the crowd to give the team confidence and support.
“We’ll continue with [preventative steps], not so much as a reaction to what happened last year, but because even before that happened that’s sort of standard procedure for us to do,” Egan said. “Any time Hickman and Rock Bridge get together, it’s always competitive and always entertaining. Theres so much adrenaline and emotion going into it that you always see the kids playing at high levels.”
By Brayden Parker