There's nothing like playing a sport and being brought into the traditions of the team and the long history, especially when rivalry week approaches. Every team treats rivalry week much different than every other week, because everyone wants to win from the top man to the last parent. You're about to be looking across at a group of guys or girls who dislike you simply for the colors you have on. This only means one thing, WAR!

Being a coach, an athletic director, fan, or even a parent, you understand the weight of the game and are even drawn in yourselves. You hear the trash talk in the work place, on the internet, and even in the stands. Every spectator is just as invested in the outcome as the players and most certainly feel the weight of a loss or the joy of a win just as much as well. Rivalry week is an intense build up for a clash of two familiar foes, with distaste for each other, to battle on the court, field, ice, or any other playing surface with the sole purpose of victorious domination on their minds.

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Looking at the city of Kalamazoo, we can run through a multitude of high school rivalries that provide thrilling results from blowouts, continued domination through the years, and even nail bitters and overtime craziness. Kalamazoo is no strangers to watching friends turn into enemies for a few hours and go at each others necks, shake hands, and move on. Don't think those teams aren't circling the date the next time they play, because revenge is a dish best served cold.

Kalamazoo Central vs Loy Norrix

This inner city rivalry might be the oldest rivalry in town and never disappoints. Looking at the history, Loy Norrix has had some trouble competing against Kalamazoo Central in Football and men's basketball, often being blown out. The action is always there no matter what sport these two teams are playing. Recently, they have split in their men's basketball series, Loy Norrix is continuing to do well in baseball, softball, soccer, swim, and track and field to name a few. The only thing this rivalry is missing is trophies for the schools to compete for. Either way these two schools fill the stands during rivalry week and always give the fans more than what they bargained for.

Portage Northern vs Portage Central

Another one of those inner city rivalries that provides nothing but sparked emotions and amazing contest. These are two teams that seem to be talented at almost every sport and give their school district and fans something to be proud of. When they get together to battle against each other, the whole city comes out, and with packed stands the eyes are all on the athletes.

Neither teams seems to gain an advantage in any sport, they may win a few in a row but they seem to be pretty balanced. They previously had a hockey trophy that their hockey teams would compete for before they joined forces to create Portage United. The main thing to note here is, both of these teams dislike each other and they show it on the field, delivering arguably some of the best high school games ever.

Hackett vs Kalamazoo Christian

Another in town rivalry that never fails to deliver exceptional talent. These are two schools who have recently joined their football programs together to play as United and have made it as far as the state semis in recent years. That is where the love for each other ends. In ever other contest, they can't wait to circle the date and let everyone know when the game is because that's the most important one. I've seen both these teams handle blowouts and losing close games to come back the next time and handle business. This is a classic old school rivalry, that is also only missing trophies.

Comstock vs Parchment

Another rivalry where there isn't much geographical space between the two schools, which means many associates know each other from both schools. This always creates not only an environment for friendly wagers, trash talk, and debate but also for distaste and a desire to dominate. Parchment has been a team in recent years that has been dominant over Comstock in every sport imaginable, but as the football team makes a return the rest of the school and community are rallying behind. This rivalry is beginning to see it restore itself and take the shape it used to hold in the past.

Kalamazoo is no stranger to the excitement, anger, and many other emotions that come along with rivalries, but we also understand how they bring communities together to. The money that is poured into our school systems at these events where seats are being filled goes to better education which makes our community better. It's a great time to fellowship and compete, but at the end of the day we are all making each other better. Someone has to be the best though, and I'm bias but I say my alma mater Loy Norrix and those people across town, Kalamazoo Central, is the best.

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