Q: What happens when you pit a school full of academics against a school full athletes?
For 23 consecutive years, my high school Alma mater has lost to our cross town rivals in football. The last time Saratoga High beat Los Gatos High in football, I was 2 years old. The last time my school beat Los Gatos, the cost of gas was ~0.95 cents/gal, our president was Ronald Reagan, and the biggest hit singles that year was Los Lobos “La Bamba” and yes…Rick Astley’s enduring “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
A brief background: our district has two very distinct high schools. If you had any chance of playing collegiate sports you typically went to Los Gatos, the only sports accolades Saratoga seemed to win were scholar athlete awards and badminton championships. Even our headline crimes are different. Saratoga made news in 1997 with an AP cheating scandal and again in 2004 with a high-tech cheating scandal (article). Los Gatos made news with a 17 person drug ring bust by a student/undercover cop in 2001(article) and another 22 person undercover sting in 2003. Same area…different schools. You get the idea.
We faced Trent Edwards (former starting NFL QB
) and the likes and each year we gritted our teeth and hoped next year we’d get just one point closer. I’m inclined to believe we came close a few years but every year the game against Los Gatos was hyped to galactic levels…only to end up being some sort of train wreck.
Now to be clear, our basketball team routinely challenged Los Gatos and we beat them handily my senior year. Just wanted to make that clear distinction…this streak only existed in football. 23 years is a long time to lose to the same school year after year after year.
Well, on Friday October 22, 2010…the streak ended.
screen shot from www.maxpreps.com
It’s been a few years since I wrote anything sports related. I used to be a column writer for my school newspaper and decided this event was enough to dust off some of the cobwebs. Rather than comment on the game which I wasn’t present to witness, I am going to just highlight the reactions I found online.
Los Gatos’ coach writes about the loss in a very well documented football site (here
). I’m sure the coach is going to face a whole lot of ridicule for this loss but it looks like their recent string of losses including a 42-0 shutout loss to Palo Alto means they’re really licking their wounds right now.
screen shot from www.losgatosfootball.com
A few years ago U of Michigan was doing so badly (2007) in football that even my friends who went to Ohio State, and Purdue felt a little pity. Sure they enjoyed watching Michigan lose but you can only enjoy your victory to a certain extent when the opposing rival is doing that badly. So to put that into context…Michigan = Los Gatos, Appalachian State = Saratoga.
I would think that Saratoga would be all up and happy. Maybe like that scene in ‘Remember the Titans’ when the Titans make it to the regional finals and the town goes crazy. Check out the school website in the aftermath.
screen shot from www.saratogahigh.org
One lousy corner on the far right! Oh maybe it gets better. Maybe it’s a link to the actual full story…
screen shot from www.saratogahigh.org
nope. well, congratulations Falcons.
Oh wait! After some more internet digging…well finally! A site that depicts the joy of winning possibly the most significant game in recent school history!
Wait what is that?! 28 years?! Los Gatos’ website has it at 23 years and we have it at 28?! Either Los Gatos recognized that Saratoga won a game 23 years ago or Saratoga became so used to losing that they just stopped keeping track of the years. Considering Los Gatos’ pure supremacy and relentless focus on football, I’m inclined to believe their records over ours. Seems that even in our celebration we can’t seem to do that right…and we’re the good students! Sadness.
Well there you have it. Academics vs. athletes.