The idea was simple enough. It called for Leadership advisors at both schools to find a sport and a non-profit organization that money could be raised for, but ensuring enough interest was taken in the event was another story. By developing a girls, boys and faculty team the event drew hundreds of students from both schools as well as parents and family members of the competitors.
This year volleyball was the sport of choice as Spanish Springs played host to the inaugural event and visiting Reed chose the charity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The schools will swap duties in the future as a new sport and charity will be chosen each year.
“I feel like this could be the high school version of the (Fremont) Cannon,” said Aleah Acquafredda, co-project manager of the event for Reed High. “I am excited for it and I think one of the main things Reed is showing off is we are getting together as a school and saying ‘we are going to be united and we are going to have fun and show off our spirit.’”
Spirit was undoubtedly on display for both schools as chants of “we can’t hear you” were shouted from opposing cheering sections Saturday evening. Matt Faker, Leadership advisor at Spanish Springs High, said prior to the event that the rivalry was something the students could use as motivation not only to come out and participate, but fuel the on-going donations to non-profit organizations.
“We love Make-A-Wish and have worked with them before and they are awesome, and eventually we would like to make this a community event where we can work with a local charity and maybe fill care packages for underprivileged students or something,” Faker said. “This rivalry is fun because it’s a great group of kids and they are all neighbors who have known each other for a long time.
“They went to elementary school together and I guess that is kind of why they are our rivals, and I think it is fun to have a school that is close by that we have the relationship with because it is mostly positive for sure.”
Leadership classes at both schools were busy assembling the boys and faculty teams and making uniforms leading up to the game before teaming up to ensure things were running smoothly. Up first was the faculty contest which shared as many laughs as it did cheers. Reed’s faculty fell in straight sets to Spanish Springs, but Reed High counselor Kyle Cassinelli said she was happy to participate despite limited practice time.
“With the school closures and trying to get everyone together at the same time, we weren’t able to practice together until right before the game,” Cassinelli said cheerfully. “I think all of us were just hoping not to embarrass ourselves and we all wanted to make the school proud.”
Spanish Springs spikers Hannah Meadows and M’Kinna Mullen, who helped their team win the High Desert League title earlier this year, said the boys and faculty teams practiced on Sundays prior to the event, which proved to be useful as the boys team notched a victory in straight sets indefinitely sending the trophy to Spanish Springs. Both girls were excited for their game against the Reed girls and said it was nice to compete for fun.
“We still have a lot of energy in the building and on the court, but it is nice to do it for fun and be able to relax a little,” Meadows said. “We want to win, of course, but we also want to have fun and let everyone who came out to watch have fun too.”
Mullen agreed, saying the “rivalry adds some intensity” to the game that was common anytime the schools faced off, but she said having people “out having fun and raising money for a good cause” was the most important part of the evening.
By the end of the night $1,100 was raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Spanish Springs will have its name etched into the first winner’s slot on the trophy. Despite the loss, Reed High sophomore and co-project manager for the event Journey Artis said she was happy to see the rivalry bring out plenty of people who were happy to support their school.
“I think it is a fun way to get more people involved and get the boys to come out and be out of their comfort zone, and the same with the teachers,” Artis said. “Students love to see their teachers out of their comfort zone and throwing themselves on the floor like our girls do. The more people we can get out here to see that, the more money we can raise for Make-A-Wish.
“I think (the rivalry) is because we are so close in the neighborhood. We all know each other and we are all friends with each other so it is fun to say ‘my school is better than yours,’ but we still have fun.”