Hey L-S: Solanco is not the enemy; Hey Solanco: Neither is L-S

Well this escalated quickly. From a rivalry game to some chippiness to a player leaving the field in an ambulance to angry social media rants from both sides, over the past week, what began as a friendly rivalry has been transformed into a divisive, vitriolic, proving ground for who can utter the most demeaning statements about the other side. And that’s not good.

Backyard brawls should be fun, not real brawls -- whether physical or verbal. And when fun metamorphoses into spite, it is time we all take a step back and regain some perspective.
Ostensibly in response to Friday night's proceedings, students
were not permitted to attend the JV game on Monday
Photo by Maya Pieters, LSNews.org Staff Photographer

As one who attends school at L-S and attends church in Solanco (spending a large chunk of my life on 272 driving back and forth), I spend a significant portion of my time in both communities. Let me say this:
  • L-S: Solanco is not simply a group of vicious warlords out to get anyone in their path.
  • Solanco: L-S is not simply a bunch of whining crybabies.

The events of last Friday night were unfortunate, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that the most unfortunate of them all is that Darren Metz sustained a neck injury that may well end his athletic career at L-S, and could have left him in even worse shape than it did.

Was it highly insensitive for members of the Solanco student section to chant, “This is our house,” while the ambulance carrying Metz sped off the field, regardless of whether or not it was intended in response thereof? Absolutely.

Is the reaction of some in the L-S community that Solanco is comprised solely of provincial hoodlums just as ridiculous? Yes.

In retrospect, our column published after last Friday night’s game should have read, “We commend both teams for shaking hands after the game,” rather than singling out L-S for its participation. Surely, if after a hard-hitting, emotionally-draining, 48 minute war on the field, both teams could muster the will to shake hands immediately, the communities that back those teams can get enough of a grip to see that there is more to this than immaturity on one side and whininess on the other.

Ultimately, neither L-S or Solanco is going anywhere. Our communities are directly adjacent, and inextricably connected by a host of factors, not the least of which being athletic rivalry.

And presently, these communities face a choice between working together year round to advance mutual goals, occasionally pausing for a friendly competition on the football field (or any other arena of interscholastic competition, for that matter), congratulating the winner when it’s over, and then getting back to work, or living in a constant state of being at one another’s throats, leveeing ad hominem attacks on social media that we would not dare utter to one another’s faces, and demeaning the other side because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

Here’s hoping for the former.

--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief

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