The Yorktown vs. Washington Lee Rivalry


By Reece Lincoln

Sentry Staff Reporter


There is always that one game that every student looks forward to. That one game that makes all the rest seems minute and unimportant. That one game that matters more than all previous records or standings and is a free for all for whichever team wants it more. That one game that it does not matter what sport or who is on the team, there will almost always be a roaring crowd. That game is the rivalry game when Yorktown plays Washington Lee.

At all high school sporting events, nothing is more exciting than a good rivalry between the two teams. Yorktown and Washington-Lee have a long history of sporting rivalries that end in close games, heartbreaks and comeback miracles between the two. No matter how successful either team seems to be playing during the season, that rivalry game always turns out to be a good one for almost any sport. Addition to these fantastic games, the crowd turn out is tremendous whenever the two teams compete, no matter the sport because it always becomes tensions run high between our two schools.

The crowds usually get pretty ugly and mean. Personal insults are not uncommonly heard drifting through the crowds, which are thrown out toward the field or court in an attempt to help throw off individuals during the game. Some of these insults can get so vulgar and overwhelming that they can target a player’s personal life or past and current relationships. Students will do anything to get an edge in these match-ups.

Many of the fans have experienced this attack themselves having played on a sports team previously and see it as their turn to help out their classmates in these challenging rivalries, while feeling the differences of changing from a contender to a fan.

“Playing and cheering are quite different because when you’re on the field you have to tune out the crowd while when you’re in the stands you want to be as loud as possible. When you’re playing you don’t want to let them get to you, but at the same time you have to stay concentrated and don’t lose focus,” explained junior James Green, who won the ‘Most Spirited Boy’ for the junior class and also played on the varsity soccer team last year.

When describing what it feels like to be in the fan section in a heated battle with Washington Lee Green said, “The atmosphere is electric.”

In these games, people’s blood can really get fired up in some instances. Players seem to play a little bit harder, finish strong and go the extra mile to get an edge for the victory. Coaches see this so they try to prepare their players as much as possible to go into the game as if regardless of their pervious win-lose record for either team and play their hardest. Usually the games are down to the wire, with a few critical plays here and there that can swing the momentum and change the entire outcome of the game.

Home court advantage has a major influence on these games. Playing at home gives the home team’s players confidence when they know that their student section is behind them the entire game, while the away team has to walk through an on slaughter of insults and yelling from the crowd just to compete in the game.

Throughout this year, there have been nail-bitters and slaughters in our games, with either team coming up on top whether it be the boy’s swim team winning their meet by 1 point or the boy’s varsity basketball team knocking them out of the playoffs, this rivalry has made some fantastic games between our schools.