Crosstown Showdown

By Emma Berkel

Sports matter. They and their staple rivalries decide on the life or death of a fan’s honor, and while the big game in Texas is “Aggies versus Longhorns”, Austin’s suburbia has the hottest high school version.

The conflict between Leander High School and Cedar Park High School can be traced to the very beginning of school brotherhood and is a conflict not just between schools, but between towns.

Established in 1889, Leander remained LISD’s one and only high school for over a hundred years. That changed in the late nineties, when an influx of jobs led to an influx in population, and by 1998 LISD was opening its second high school in Cedar Park. Without question, there would be competition between LISD’s “first” high school and its “second” to prove whether or not the original really was best. But who knew how hot the flames would get?

By the end of CPHS’s four preparatory years, the two schools clashed in their first football game, a game played at Bible Stadium, with LHS listed as the “away” team.

Retaliation by LHS students came through banners that pointed out how real home teams didn’t have to drive a bus to get to the stadium.

CPHS students arrived with banners jeering, “Our homes don’t have wheels.”

Thus began the epic rivalry as today blue and white will indeed clash again with black and green.

Not much has changed. The jeers have withstood eight years of time. Cedar Park continues to bluntly stress a socioeconomic difference; who could forget last year’s basketball hillbillies? Leander still grabs for any subtle, school suitable jab. But what about the game itself?

“It’s awesome. A lot of people come out to watch it,” said Collin Chapman, varsity quarterback.

While the competition’s more spiteful pranks may have fallen into bad taste, those involved with the game itself take it and utilize it. Steve Gideon, coach, put it best, “We look forward to this game. It is one of our fiercest rivalries.” For them, it boils down to what all rivalries truly are: motivation.

Tradition would place this most recent game at the same, albeit renovated, Bible Stadium as the first, but the new Gupton Stadium has taken center stage. Still, it’s only a chance to prove that Leander is first, even on new turf.

“They’re the second, keep that in mind,” said Nancy Schroeder, a longtime teacher at Leander.