Beyond The Score

Central Vermont Sports Blog

Cross-town Rivalry is Dead

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girls basketball

When I first started teaching and coaching in Montpelier back in the 70’s the MHS-Spaulding rivalry was fantastic. Great competition, wild fans and the overflow energy would last until the next game. Local media hyped the events and we had great coverage of the games with profiles, interviews, photos and articles that recaptured every highlight and delivered the emotion of the competition.

MHS was running double sessions of classes because of the large number of students (1400) and U32 was born. Area towns started sending middle and high school students to U32. So a new triangular rivalry began but Spaulding remained the rivalry for MHS into the 80’s and 90’s. I remember one group of SHS girl basketball players that would crash our MHS team dinners. They would sneak over to my house and press their noses against the window to watch us eat before the big game. We always invited them in for dessert and then the next day tried to kick their butts on the court. Great friends, great memories!

Times have changed! MHS (declining enrollment) has moved to DIII in basketball and Spaulding remains DI. This year there is no MHS-SHS girls basketball game. The cross-town rivalry is dead.

Given all the history and the small fact that the schools are only 10 minutes apart, why is it happening? You can’t cry money because traveling to Barre is a money saver compared to a trip to North Country. MHS hasn’t posted it’s winter sports schedule yet so I can’t highlight the long trips they take. If things are as usual we should see the MHS schedule about mid-season. I’m guessing the loss of SHS games it has to do with the AD’s and personal preferences of the coaches.

Spaulding does play Randolph (DIII) but not MHS. Why?

Spaulding used to play MHS in girls hockey – no longer. Why?

Most teams pack the schedule at the beginning of the season with non-conference games and you see some routs but you also see some amazing games. I remember when Spaulding was having a tough year and came in the MHS gym with a record of 1-12. Montpelier was 12-3. The game went into overtime and the place was rock’n! You never know how a game will turn out given the rivalry and the pre-game prep.

Press coverage of local games has changed along with the loss of this great rivalry. You see more and more “Staff Reports” and less pre-game articles building the game of the week.

Why do you think the MHS-SHS rivalry is dead?

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Written by Roger

December 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

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