Those neighborhood rivalry games and matches that are played every fall between high-school teams from the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas in the many various sports when some type of cup, trophy or just simple bragging rights, on the line, are much fun.
There were two such highly-anticipated private-school football contests played Saturday afternoon, Oct. 16, just a few miles apart. In Arlington, the host Bishop O’Connell Knights nipped the Bishop Ireton Cardinals, 15-14. In McLean, the host Potomac School Panthers rallied from a 6-0 second-quarter deficit to down the Flint Hill Huskies, 25-6.
At the end of each, large student sections on hand and cheering hard for the winning teams rushed the fields to celebrate the victories. The Potomac School players and fans were especially enjoying a festive moment, because 2014 was the last time the Panthers downed the Huskies.
Three other such local rivalries occurred previously, with the Madison Warhawks and Langley Saxons the big winners, and claiming those bragging rights.
In football, the Warhawks earned a Rotary Cup with a victory over one of their local rivals in the Marshall Statesmen. The next Friday evening, Madison kept the Vienna Inn trophy, as well, by blanking the Oakton Cougars in another all-local showdown.
In girls field hockey, Langley topped the McLean Highlanders, 1-0, to win the Rotary Cup in that sport.
There are no cups or trophies awarded to the winning teams when the three public varsity high-school football teams in Arlington meet each fall. But if one goes 2-0 against the others, as the Yorktown Patriots have for many years, that team proudly claims to be Arlington County champs and celebrates appropriately.
The excitement and passion of neighborhood high-school showdowns never gets old.