TPHS sports rivalries define school culture

The stands of the Olive Garden are filled to the brim with a sea of students cheering loudly, each side dressed in their respective colors of black or white in support of their teams. The sound of shoes fervently squeaking against the waxed wooden floor is almost inaudible over the roar of the crowd; no less than the environment expected of a rivalry basketball game between TPHS and La Costa Canyon High School. A passionate battle of skills and tenacity rages before the eyes of spectators. On the court below, player clashes against player as the pressure to triumph motivates them to give 110% of their effort.

Whether it be football, tennis, swimming or any other sport, there is no denying that competitive spirit is a factor in the success of any athletic team. Here at TPHS, the school’s competitive spirit, combined with its collection of outstanding athletes have fueled these intense rivalries with other schools.

According to Principal Robert Coppo, TPHS’ greatest rivals in most sports are LCC, Cathedral Catholic High School and Poway High School.

When Coppo attended TPHS in the 80s, Poway was TPHS’s greatest sports competitor.

“Back then it was just Torrey and Poway, those were the only two schools,”  Coppo said.

As more schools were established throughout North County in the late 1980s and 1990s, TPHS added to its list of rivals. After its founding in 1996, LCC soon began to challenge TPHS on the athletic stage.

Robby Collins, head coach of the TPHS varsity football team, noted that LCC was not a rival in football until 2004 when LCC beat TPHS for the first time. An annual tradition would then originate in 2005 between TPHS and LCC dubbed “The Beach Bowl,” in which the winner of the football game would get a surfboard as a trophy.

Although CCHS was founded in 1957, Coppo stated that it has only grown into a serious competitor to TPHS in the last 15 years.

Coppo attributes the formation of these rivalries to the frequency and intensity of the games, along with the schools’ proximity to one another.

“The challenge of Torrey is we’re everybody’s rival because we’re very successful, so a lot of people want to take us down,”  Coppo said.

The large sports community at TPHS means that students are more aware of and excited for rivalry games.

Scott Ashby, TPHS football coach since 1992, commented on the amplified energy at a rival game.

“The beauty of rivalry games is the fact that the school spirit for both schools is heightened … and there’s a concerted effort to create a great atmosphere,”  Ashby said.

When it comes to the rivalry with LCC, Coppo stated that it has become healthier over time compared to as it was in the past. 

“[The rivalry with LCC] is still pretty heated … I’d like to see the flame reduced a little bit … just so we can enjoy the games and not make it quite so personal,” Coppo said. “But it’s better than it used to be because it goes back and forth … when it’s one-sided, the rivalry can get worse”

Rivalry games hold significant value to student-athletes, as the raised stakes can motivate players to perform better. 

Gavin Conley (10), a player on the varsity football team, expressed how important rivalry games are to him.

“Rivalries are a big date on the calendar … you work all season and that’s the game you’re trying to get to, and trying to win, and be your best at,” Conley said. 

The focus on winning a rivalry game can also boost team morale.

 “It definitely brings team spirit up really high … this is a game you want to win to show you’re dominant for that sport,” Conley said.

Joey Levenberg (10), a player on the varsity football and lacrosse team, said that individual pressure is increased as the performance of the team is based on the efforts of every player.

“It helps bring a team together to know you have a common goal and knowing you can’t do it yourself,” Levenberg said.

Marissa Gaut (12), a member of the cross country and track team, echoed Levenberg’s sentiment about the importance of working together to achieve a win.

“When we’re heading into CIF, when we have a target that we’re looking for and we have a target on our back it helps motivate us because each runner makes a difference,” Gaut said. “If one runner doesn’t give all it can cost the team, it helps everyone work collectively.”

Collins nonetheless cautions that taking a rivalry game too seriously can distract a team and result in game-costing mistakes.

“The one thing we try to preach to our players is, it is just another game, but we’re human and it definitely means a lot to our players,”  Collins said. 

As TPHS does not seem to be running out of fresh talent and passion in its student-athletes any time soon, rivalries will surely continue to stand strong as a testament to the school’s determination to never back down from a challenge.
Read on Issuu.

One thought on “TPHS sports rivalries define school culture

  1. Wow, incredible weblog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The whole look of
    your web site is great, as smartly as the content!

    You can see similar here dobry sklep

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Day in the Life: Girls Soccer
Next post California NIL Bill to revolutionize college sports