America v. Britain. Athens v. Sparta. The Mongols v. Everyone. These are rivalries that have defined the course of history. But one conflict eclipses all of them. Wootton v. Churchill. This friendly rivalry over the years has spanned a variety of platforms including, most recently, athletics and social media.
In the past month, the MoCo sports world has blown up in regards to the Wootton-Churchill rivalry. While most fall sports competed against Churchill this season, there are two games where the tension between Wootton and Churchill reached a boiling point. First, a 1-0 victory for Wootton’s varsity boys’ soccer team brought a feeling of triumph and relief to the school. After losing to Churchill 2-0 last year, the team was looking for redemption and achieved it on Sept. 13 in their win against their bitter rivals.
The winning goal, a penalty kick scored by junior Francis Meyer, brought the team their ultimate success, yet the rival team did not back down easily. On one anonymous Wootton player’s Instagram post announcing the victory, a staggering 213 comments were placed underneath the picture, most of which consisted of verbal jabs from Patriots and Bulldogs alike. “I witnessed the whole thing go on in the comment section and I was really shocked at the reaction from Churchill students after one little loss to Wootton,” senior Alex Kim said.
The other Wootton-Churchill athletic competition shrouded in anger and tension was the Sept. 8 varsity football game, where Churchill defeated Wootton 49-8. The biggest highlight of the game was not the actions on the field by the players but rather those of the members of the Churchill student section.
It was noticed by a number of students at this school that a few Bulldogs were flaunting signs saying “Keep Trying for a 19 on the ACT #MCBound” and “[Wootton] Girls are Well Fed.” Instead of feeling defeated by the words of their rivals, students at this school have chosen to disregard the childish intentions of Churchill’s posters and embrace their new labels as proven by #WellFed appearing on several social media posts from Wootton students. “I thought it was immature because it passed the line between a school rivalry and bullying. But, I think the way we handled it was funny and took Churchill by surprise by embracing it as a joke,” senior Kayla Hill said.