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Rivalry Weakens the Nerves

By Dustin Yoo

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By Dustin Yoo | Staff Writer

January 14th 2014

I’m exhausted.  Cross-town rivalry games will do that to a person. As a first year Charger, I didn’t understand the true hatred/rivalry between San Marcos and Dos Pueblos until Wednesday night when DP hosted SM for three fierce rivalry games.

I play on the Frosh/Soph team and I can tell you first hand that the game got very physical. There was a small turnout for the Frosh game, the crowd mostly being made up of parents and a few students who were just looking for something to do after school. But, as I found out, cross-town rivalry games don’t need huge crowds for the game to be intense. Most of the noise came from the cheerleaders, but as the gym slowly started filling up with more people (friends and family coming for the JV game) it started to get louder with the screams of “Defense! Defense!”

San Marcos led for the entire game until Fresman James Halleck hit a clutch three pointer to put DP ahead by one. Colten Hyuck, also a Freshman, got fouled a few possessions later and then right after, SM’s coach was called for a technical. A coach got called for a technical. In a Frosh game. That’s how heated the game was getting. If SM was playing any other school, the coach probably wouldn’t have freaked out like he did against DP. Hyuck, only hit one of three free throws, but that was enough to give us a comfortable 4 point lead. We made key stops down the stretch and we beat SM by four points. Talk about intense, but that was just the first game.

The JV game was a blow out from the start, so it gave my brain a chance to shake off some of the adrenaline.

But it wasn’t until the Varsity game when things really took off. The students from SM started filling in the bleachers across from “Charger Country” and right from tip-off, SM exploded with it’s signature loud and proud cheer section. The atmosphere in Sovine Gym was on par with the atmosphere in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. DP pleaded for defense when SM had the ball. Parents were screaming at players to push the ball up the court. SM led for the entire game, but we kept it close. With 3:26 left in the fourth quarter, Senior Brandon Burkhardt  made a basket to tie the game and the crowd went BERZERK. The sting of that three-pointer left it’s mark on the SM crowd as grimaces and winces crawled onto the faces of  the SM’s fans.

DP got a stop on the other end and with 2:32 left, Senior Derek Abbott made a lay up to take the lead. The Royals responded almost immediately, but Abbott sunk another shot with 22 seconds left with an “And One.” He sunk the clutch free throw and put DP up by three. There was a collective sigh of relief from DP’s side of the gym, but SM snapped back with a three pointer to tie it up. Eight seconds were left on the clock and DP called a timeout. Fans from DP and SM were making ear piercing noise. Jayson Williams, a sophomore drove to the basket and laid it up at the buzzer and made it. That sucker punch of a layup caused the DP fans to lose it and they flooded the court. San Marcos and their fans fell silent for the first time the entire night. It was a great feeling. It was a great day to be a Charger.

We have to do this two more times against both SB and SM, I’m not sure if I can go through it again, but at least I know what to expect. GO CHARGERS!

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Rivalry Weakens the Nerves