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Rivalry is Not an Excuse

Rivalry is Not an Excuse

Rivalry is Not an Excuse


Staff Writer

December 7, 2023

Sean Ye '25

Taft Day and the preceding week is always a time of high spirits and energy at the school. Traditions like the burning of the cardboard rhino, posting psych cards, and dress-up days are examples of healthy expressions of the rivalry between Hotchkiss and Taft. However, this year, the line between friendly and toxic rivalry was crossed after the last game of the day on Sprole Field. 

After the final whistle of the football game, the Taft bench and student section stormed the field, despite repeated warnings via loudspeaker that fans and bench players were not permitted on the field. 

Two Hotchkiss players then ran out and started shoving Taft students off the “H” in the center of the field. The shoving escalated into a brawl, and at least one Taft student punched a Hotchkiss coach. Subsequently, Taft players also shattered a window in the locker room. 

Ignoring clear instructions from a host school, destroying property, and assaulting players and coaches are inexcusable offenses. It must be made clear not just to Taft, but also to other schools with whom we compete, that friendly rivalry and competition must not veer into toxicity. 

It has become abudantly clear that we must set out a code of conduct for schools that compete in the Founder’s League and NEPSAC games. If schools agree on such a code, as well as clear consequences for specific breaches of that code, we might avoid future incidents or at least be able to respond to them more productively. 

While Hotchkiss students may not have initiated the events on Taft Day, we must still lead by example and show our community and peer schools what true sportsmanship and healthy competition looks like. 

There is a clear line between humorous banter and outright disrespect, and we have a responsibility to uphold that line.

Sean Ye is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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