By Abby Richey
Painted faces, decorated shirts and signs, and lots and lots of yelling. For anyone who has ever been to a Scottsburg vs. Austin rivalry game, you know that’s not even half the excitement filling the gym during this time of year.
“I like how the cheer blocks, when they get into it, it’s not just a basketball game. It’s just who can cheer the loudest. It’s crazy loud and you can’t even hear your own thoughts,” said Warrior mascot Jameson Hale (10).
The anticipation of who will come out victorious from the rivalry games buries itself in the pits of both the crowd and the player’s stomachs. It is often the goal for Scottsburg to beat Austin and vice versa; which sounds like any other game except it’s really not. The competitiveness and tension between the two long time rivaling teams could be cut with a knife. It’s so intense that there are times when the cheers from the crowd become so piercing it’s impossible to even hear the person next to you.
Obviously the goal of every game is to win, and technically, in some way, the opposing team will always be some sort of rival to you, just nowhere near as intense. But there’s a bigger reason behind the excitement for these rivalry games than leading on the scoreboard.
What comes even more than the hope of taking home the win is the love for the experience these games bring for students, players and families.
For about two weeks before the rivalry game even approaches, the talk of it is buzzing amongst the hallways of the schools. From pep rallies and decoration preparation, to hyping up your team on social media and planning out chants, the rivalry game becomes much more of an experience for people than the three hours spent in the gym.
If someone were to look around they would see more than dribbling and scoring. They would see the signs waving above students heads that took a week to make. They would see how far some people took it with repping their team's colors. They would see the overwhelming amount of support from the crowd after a good play, and even the support when their team fumbles. Often times, they might even see people decked out in purple and gold cheering for someone in black and white. The crowd, the heat, the props, the celebrations, the atmosphere and the sense of community all come together to paint a picture of what the rivalry game actually is.
They shoot, hopefully they’ll score, and skill will be shown by numbers on a scoreboard, but the true reasoning behind all the hype around the Austin, Scottsburg rivalry game will be found in places other than on the court. One community split in two, for just a couple hours, all there with a burning desire to soak in the experience that the ongoing rivalry brings.