The rivalry between UCLA and USC is not the only long standing sports rivalry in Southern California. The football teams from Valencia High School and El Dorado High School, each located in Placentia, played this year’s installment of the annual Bell Game on Friday, September 18.
The Bell Game is an annual game, the winner of which earns possession of a golden bell for the rest of the year. A tradition for over several decades, the Bell Game has slowly come to signify a unification of the schools’ student bodies through school spirit.
For the week prior to the game, students from both schools participate in special events. This year, Valencia High School students have participated in days such as “Nerdy Hawk Day,” to put down the reputation of the opposing school, and “Blue and Gold Day,” to uplift Valencia spirit through its school colors.
As with the past three years, Valencia took the bell home. After winning the game with a score of 35-14, VHS students were in high spirits. This was especially apparent in its ever-growing student section, known by fans as the “Tiger Den.”
Tera Gilham, a member of Valencia’s student council, told JSR in an interview, “The Bell Game isn’t just a regular football game. I’ve seen our Tiger Den evolve into one of the largest and most spirited student sections in Orange County and I think that spirit like that is what makes the Bell Game so much more significant.”
This spirit helped the team win.
Jake Moran, a football player at VHS, stated in an interview with JSR, “Seeing how many supporters are with us in the stands makes me want to try so much harder to win. Whenever I get tired, I see my friends and family cheering my team on and I get motivated to make their cheering worthwhile.”
Though Valencia won, El Dorado students still showed their spirit after the game.
In an interview with JSR, Abby Llorens, an El Dorado dance team member who performed at the game, stated, “Valencia might have won this year, but just wait until next year! We’ll be getting ready for victory starting from today.”
For now, Valencia has the bell, a unified student body, and spirit to be seen beyond the stadium.