Written by: Wayland Fong
The school district has decided to suspend the annual football rivalry game between Palo Alto High School and Gunn High school for one year, according to Principal Katya Villalobos. This suspension would end a 48-year-old tradition between the two schools. As Palo Alto citizens, we know that it is important to have traditions that bring the community together. In my eyes, the annual football game is just a testament to that sense of community. The game itself has a place in history for both schools as well as the Palo Alto community.
When the two schools first created the rivalry game, it was supposed to be a friendly game with the intention of bringing the community together. For 48 years, this purpose has been fulfilled each and every time. If students were genuinely discouraged by the final scores, then the huge masses would not be showing up at the games. Besides, the Titans have proved that it is not completely impossible to win in the past with their 2002 victory against Paly. The discrepancy between the two football teams just makes potential victories for Gunn even more exhilarating.
Proponents in support of this suspension believe that it would strengthen both teams’ records and increase their chances of getting to CCS. This, however, should not be a reason to deprive students of a district-wide tradition. No school should rely on a single game as a crutch to determine whether they get to CCS or not. With Gunn’s 7-3 record and Paly’s 8-3 record, both schools are well on their way to a successful season next fall anyways.
The community understands that it is more than just a football game. I have been to all of the Gunn-Paly rivalry games during my time at Gunn, and I have enjoyed every game. This annual event is a place to be with friends, to hear the school bands play their renditions of current pop songs and to just get away from the stressful environment of high school. This suspension of the rivalry will deprive the community and future generations of Titans from this game that has been such a big event for the community.