District rivalry continues despite uneven competition

By Miranda Snyder

Pushing toward the basket, senior forward Nathan Stacy attempts a layup against Bonner Springs on Friday, Jan. 11.

Hanna Torline, JagWire editor-in-chief

Often the most anticipated and well-attended basketball game of the year is against Bonner Springs High School, the Jaguars’ district rival. This season, the teams met at Bonner on Friday, Jan. 11, the Jaguar boys winning 64 – 42 and girls winning 47 – 21. The teams will meet again when the Jaguars play at home on Friday, Feb. 12.

Senior forward Stephanie Lichtenauer looks forward to the competitiveness of each game against the Braves.

“I think it is [a rivalry],” Lichtenauer said. “It is always a close game against Bonner and it’s always a great feeling when we come out with the [win].”

The Jaguars are leading the all-time contest against the Braves 20 – 8. Because of this seemingly one-sided margin, some students and players have questioned whether Bonner should still be considered the school’s rival.

“I think the rivalry is definitely not as even as some others,” senior forward Nathan Stacy said. “But the Bonner games are still always really intense.”

Senior Blake Miles agrees that even if the scores are often skewed to favor the Jaguars, the students continue to have strong feelings about the outcomes of the games.

“I think the rivalry is fueled with very strong emotions from both sides,” Miles said. “I personally have dangerously passionate negative feelings towards Bonner, [but I] think the rivalry is good for competition.”

Stacy thinks that regardless of the level of competition, the two schools will continue to be rivals because the fans will continue to have an interest.

“People get really into the games and take it seriously,” Stacy said. “Even if it’s not close, it’s always a big deal to beat Bonner.”

Since head coach Justin Bogart was coaching at the school when it opened, he remembers when the Jaguars and Braves first began their rivalry.

“It really began when [the Braves] joined the Kaw Valley League and we played them two times a year in basketball,” Bogart said. “Also, just the natural location and proximity of the schools to each other made it a natural rivalry … and there are some differences between the schools as well in terms of which areas the schools serve. There are some cultural issues at work there.”

Some of those issues were most prevalent when some Jaguar fans came to a game dressed in white trash bags in 2008, when former student Miranda Fields was a sophomore, in response to the Braves students dressing in preppy clothing the previous game.

“The rivalry was intense and playing Bonner was always a fun game to watch,” Fields said. “I don’t think the students that wore trash bags were trying to be malicious but [it seemed that way] to many adults and other students, [and] the joke was not taken lightly. At the time it didn’t bother me very much but I thought we should show more class.”

Bogart agrees with Fields’ perception of the rivalry.

“It enflamed the rivalry,” Bogart said. “That’s probably when it took on its legend. Yes, [the trash bags were] probably in poor taste … [But at the same time] I think that it’s almost a myth that it has not been a good-natured rivalry. I’ve not seen animosity at an actual school-sponsored event. The schools have taken some jabs at each other but I’ve never seen it to be hostile.”

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