Fauquier Rivalry Creates Tension

Long standing opponents take it to the next level

With only three public high schools in the county, football rivalries have always been tense, but since the opening of Kettle Run in 2008, rivalries have heated up. The longest standing high school, Fauquier, established in 1963, quickly instated the biggest rivalry in the county with Kettle Run.

Students at both schools take great pride in this rivalry. There have been many memorable games between the two schools in all sports, yet Kettle Run tends to dominate the football scene.

“Being able to play against our rivals in two different sports is a great feeling,” senior football and basketball player Ben Heflin said. “There is no better feeling than beating the team you hate the most.”

The Kettle Run/Fauquier football game during the 2017 season was at Fauquier, but the Cougars took down FHS, even with their home field advantage. This year was no different. The annual game was held at KR and FHS took a hard 35-6 loss against their biggest rivals. The rivalry is many athletes favorite part of the season.

“Coming back from a 14 point deficit to beat Fauquier my sophomore year in the rain is an example of a perfect rivalry moment,” senior Chris Kallighan said.

Rivalries are good for sports and competition, but like anything else, there are positive and negative effects. The level of intensity can sometimes damage the attitude of the team, as things can sometimes get carried away.

“The rivalry makes everyone want to play harder,” Kallighan said. “But it sometimes allows people to get carried away and underestimate the team.”

Basketball Coach Troy Washington added, “rivalries are great in a sense of the atmosphere at the games and the competitiveness at which all the players demonstrate. The one con would be that players can become too emotional before or during the game that it leads to their inability to execute properly.”

During rivalry games, the emotions are high. In sports like field hockey, scoring a goal can give the momentum of the game to the scoring team. This can cause the other team to panic or become stressed during the game.

“I think the rivalry affects the team positively before the game but once we get scored on it goes down hill and we start to lose control of our attitudes,” Cara Preston, varsity field hockey player, said.

The student sections at each school take pride in their schools. Knowing their team will be playing against a rival takes the intensity of the student sections to an entirely different level.

“The rivalry game changes the atmosphere of the student section by adding a lot of tension between the two schools and also bringing more students to the game than normal,” Jake Heenan, cage leader, said.

Student sections tend to have chants against the opposing team. During rivalry games, the chants can often become vulgar.

“It can sometimes be hard to keep the chants under control since we usually have a larger student section for rivalry games,” Heenan said.

The Kettle Run/Fauquier rivalry can only be expected to get more intense as sports move into post and winter seasons.