Crossing the line

Vandalism during rivalry week causes tension between Texas High and Arkansas High students

Texas+flags+fly+in+the+beds+of+pickup+trucks+at+Texas+High+School+during+the+Texas+vs.+Arkansas+game+week.+Some+flags+were+vandalized+with+obsenities++the+Wednesday+before+the+game.

Photo by Ayla Sozen

Texas flags fly in the beds of pickup trucks at Texas High School during the Texas vs. Arkansas game week. Some flags were vandalized with obsenities the Wednesday before the game.

Story by Jessica Emerson and Tyler Snell

Droopy eyed and mildly sweaty, junior Quentin Green staggers confidently to his tan Chevrolet truck after an extensive golf practice in Texas summer heat. He stops. Staring intently at what used to be a large Texas flag that hung out of his truck bed. The banner that waved proudly and vividly as a symbol of Texas pride had been stained and defaced with obscenities, tied to a state line rivalry that has stood sturdy for over a century.

“I was at golf practice, I came back and saw that an someone had written inappropriate things on my flags,” junior Quentin Green said. “[The taunting] won’t affect the game at all. I still think we’re going to win, no matter what.”

Similar acts of vandalism occurred throughout the week leading up to the biggest game of the season.

“I walked out of my house and there was a Razorback sticker on my front windshield [and on the back],” senior Grayson Jones said. “I think it will just drive our boys and give them extra motivation, not that they need it.”

Not only were flags tampered with, but Razorbacks crossed into Tiger Territory in what became a foiled attempt at causing more damage.

“I was sitting in my truck late Thursday night [and] happened to see some reckless drivers bearing opposing team colors pull up to Texas High,” junior Hutch Tidwell said. “One brave security guard stopped the act of [cruelty] upon our school, and the situation was handled.”

The Arkansas High cheerleaders believe the recent activity is a positive factor in maintaining the rivalry.

“Well I think school pride is a huge factor in the rivalry between Texas and Arkansas,” senior Arkansas High cheer captain Tori Wilson said. “The students who went to their rival schools were showing their pride for their school. So, as long as it’s done in a respectful way I think it is definitely in spirit of the rivalry.”

Although there has been aggression shown from Arkansas students, Principal Brad Bailey has faith in the student body to turn the other cheek.

“I think our students have strong school spirit,” Bailey said. “I think we are a positive group of students at Texas High, and I would encourage our students to rise above the behaviors of others and set the example for others to follow and not let a small group of people that are insignificant matter to us because we have a stronger school system, stronger student body, and at the very end we are going to prevail. We are going to beat Arkansas High tomorrow night.”

For the rivalry game on Friday, Sept. 4, these acts have only increased the pressure to take back the title of city champs.

“I just kind of laughed [in reaction to the stickers],” Jones said. “And I thought just wait until Friday night.”

The flags will continue to be flown and cheers will be screamed in order to show the most spirit and encourage the football team to beat the cross-town rival.

“There is a lot of hype this week [and] adversity between the two schools,” Tidwell said. “But I know our boys are going to shine.”