How Far is Too Far?

Fan rivalries are part of prep sports, but school officials say some taunts cross the line


Rebecca Smith and Luke Richards

School rivalries unite student sections and build excitement for upcoming games, but the question how far is too far is a concern many schools have.

The recent Jesuit vs. Rio football game sparked a heated Twitter battle between the two school’s accounts. Through videos and comments, the two schools hype up the game.

“We try to advertise the game as much as possible through our royalty twitter account and our personal snapchats, so we can have a big crowd,” said Rowdy Raider captain Matt Lynch. “It’s easy once people are all there at the game because it makes it easier to run chants and get our teams hyped up.”

The Rowdy Raider account tweeted about the Jesuit quarterback and his offer to play college football at Oberlin College. This is a division three school which cannot give scholarship offers; this essentially was the message of the tweet. Students from Del Campo and graduated Rio students as well as Rio faculty commented on the tweet saying it was bullying and that the schools should support each other athletically. The Rowdy Raiders deleted this tweet after responding that the schools have a known rivalry and it was all a joke.

The Marauder twitter account posted a video the day of the game with the message that if you go to Rio you won’t go to college and you’ll become homeless.

To many students, the Rowdy Raiders’ tweet was done in good spirits while this one was taken too far. Jesuit students are not allowed to comment on the rivalry or the intentions behind their tweets because of a school policy.

“I think it was really immature of them to post that video,” said senior Demetri Dogias.” Both schools deleted all tweets after a short period of time, but determining whether one school took it too far or not, or what is too far, is still up for debate.

The use of social media, where no context or tone can be heard, makes it difficult to understand the motive behind the message, especially if the person reading or viewing it doesn’t go to the school.

A high school in Orange County was recently reported in the LA Times and Orange County Register as to having chanted “we love white” and having posters that support Trump’s border policy of building a wall. Students and principals claim that this was misreported, but the outrage and backlash that followed demonstrate an example of a rivalry taken too far.

Jesuit and Rio have competed for decades over the best school on American River Drive, and although the insults hurled between the schools sometimes hit a little too hard, no extreme line has been crossed.