Who do we really hate?

The hair on your neck stands up. An unreal determination to not just beat, but embarrass your opponent takes control of you. The game changes when you are face-to-face with your rival. It doesn’t matter what sport you play. There is always an uncontrollable hate for that one team. You might not even know why you hate them; you just know that you have to win. Ames High’s archenemy is not as well defined as some other famous rivalries. If we were the Red Sox, who would be our Yankees? Who would we focus on beating the most? Some would say the West Des Moines Valley Tigers, while others would say the Marshalltown Bobcats. “Marshalltown, without a doubt,” said junior James Kohler. “We have been playing them for so long in sports. Last year, they knocked both the boys basketball team and the girls volleyball team out of their respective state tournaments.” Marshalltown shattered the dreams of our athletes taking the state title. How can there not be a school-wide hate of them? Marshalltown certainly considers us their rival. They brought a sea of two different “Beat Ames” shirts with them to the state basketball qualifying game. Is a solid black shirt that says “score” the best we could come up with? Before the “score” shirts were the “beat ‘em” shirts. This encouraged a bit more of a winning attitude, but still, “ ‘em” isn’t really a team that we can beat. To unify our school against a common enemy, we must give it more effort than a lousy T-shirt. “I guess [West Des Moines] Valley has always kind of been our rival,” freshman Abby Hansen said. “Even though they usually beat us in everything.” West Des Moines Valley is the largest school that Ames usually competes against. But just because they may win the most doesn’t make them our rival. That is like saying that all NFL teams’ rival is the New England Patriots. Hostility toward winners prevails in all sports. It is acceptable to want to prove you can beat the best, but sometimes it is best to keep our quest for being the greatest separate from the quest to beat our rival. “It was a dirty rivalry,” 1982 Ames High graduate Janet Rathe said. “The stands were packed at [Marshalltown’s] roundhouse and at home.” Ames High’s clear rival of the past was the Marshalltown Bobcats. “Valley wasn’t in our conference, so our rivalry with Marshalltown was it,” Rathe said. The Bobcats have been under the radar of Ames for quite some time. However, their athletic program is becoming a threat to Ames once again. It is time for us to consider refueling our once-great rivalry with them. The Bobcats’ anger has always been directed at us. even when ours was directed at other schools. It is time to center our attention on one school. The uncertainty of our rivalry will hopefully be cleared by the school-wide hate of a feline.