With EHS and SJS going head to head in volleyball, field hockey, and football, the Knights are rivaling the Falcons as the Mavericks' biggest bout.
Rivalries are fueled by consistency, rituals, and competition. Harvard and Yale play “The Game.” Oklahoma and Texas converge at the “Red River Shootout.” TCU and SMU still heat up for the “Iron Skillet.” The oldest high school football rivalry in the country dates back to 1895 between Norwich and New London High School of Connecticut. Texas’ oldest high school football rivalry began in 1906 with Sherman and Denison High Schools in the “Battle of the Ax.”
Since the first football game between Kinkaid and St. John’s in 1951, a rivalry has existed. Late October means scarlet and black cover the campus, alumni reunite, and pride is at stake. Some years, a championship is on the line, too. The Falcons lead the game series 37-24, winning the last two SPC championships by defeating St. John’s in the final game of year. Beginning in 1981 the winner of the Maverick/ Falcon smack-down receives the McCullough Cup. Pranks, skits, and videos fill the week before the game. Kinkaid game t-shirts are issued school wide, from the littlest Kindergartener riding on the shoulders of a player at the pep rally, to the biggest senior.
Another October rivalry is also emerging for SJS. Since Episcopal High School started playing football against St. John’s in 1986, a new shade of blue turns St. John’s fans and players scarlet weeks before the traditional clash with the purple and gold. While the revelry is reserved for Kinkaid week, Maverick high school students now get a designated Episcopal game t-shirt. Dating back to the first game in 1986, the SJS – EHS series is tied 13-13. Which rivalry is the bigger deal?
“Both Kinkaid and EHS are hyped up games,” said Head Coach Steve Gleaves. “Kinkaid has more festivities attached to it. Episcopal is about bragging rights in the neighborhood.”
Among the Maverick Varsity Football team, the rivalry factor is divided between the two schools.
“Episcopal is more personal,” said Jonathan Newar ’13.
“It’s a longer rivalry and we play in a bigger stadium against Kinkaid, said Daniel Jellins ’14.
“There’s a lot of banter between Episcopal and us,” said Brooks Arnold ’14. “We know them better.”
“Kinkaid has a championship ring,” quipped Ben Griffin ’13.
“There is more tension between us and EHS,” said Grayson Crady ’13. “We’ll let the results take care of what others perceive about St. John's athletics.”
“Kinkaid is the bigger rivalry for me,” said Eric Hobby ’13. “We have not beaten them yet in football.”
“I can’t pick one,” said Walt Baker ’13. “More history on Kinkaid, more animosity vs Episcopal.”
The new SPC playoff
format allows for four teams from each of the South and North SPC divisions, so the playoff implications are not as significantly linked to the outcome of either the Kinkaid or the Episcopal regular season games. Pride and home field advantage for the first round in the playoffs are up for grabs.
against Episcopal is another opportunity to get a win and get a playoff game on Skip Lee Field,” said Assistant Coach Alan Paul. “We’re excited about playing a good team, and the game will be a good test for us to be consistent and mistake-free.”
So who is the Mavericks’ biggest football rival? For Michael Newar ’15 the choice is simple: It’s Episcopal, because that’s the next game.
The intensity of these rivalries isn’t reserved for the gridiron. This first week in October sees Maverick Volleyball and Field Hockey square off against the Knights on October 4th. These teams have strong views of their opponents’ significance, too.
“EHS is the better volleyball game,” said Justin Bernard ’14. “The series has gone back and forth and it is a harder fought win.”
“Kinkaid is a fun rivalry,” said Andrew Breckwoldt ’13. “If we say we are going to beat Episcopal we have to do it. Overall in SPC this is a big goal for Maverick Boys’ Volleyball.”
“Be there at 6 p.m. Thursday on Liu Court,” said William Trieschman ’14.
For Girls’ Volleyball, however, it is all Kinkaid.
“Kinkaid has always been our big rival,” said Jane Labanowski ’13.
“They’re out to get us this year,” said Emma Haggemann ’13.
“We’re hearing a lot more from Kinkaid,” said Nikhila Krishnan ’14
“Kinkaid has not always been a threat and now they are more confident,” said Stephanie Guo ’13. “We are starting to have more conversations with Kinkaid players.”
All four Field Hockey captains Carly Gamson ’13, Sam Night ’13, Natalie Plummer ’13, and Robby Rybarczyk ’13, are unified in their focus on the Falcon game as their most coveted contest.
“Historically we have had way more back-and-forth with Kinkaid leading up to the last game of the season,” said Night.
“In the past several years the number one seed has been on the line in our last regular season game against Kinkaid,” said Head Coach Craig Chambers. “It appears to be heading that way again.”
Whether against purple or blue, Kinkaid or Episcopal, skillet or cup, the Mavericks are getting ready to make a block, take a shot, and likely hit a nerve. It’s going to be one more for the record.
Sam Chambers-Athletic News