Like any high school, we all have our rival. The team that we must beat in absolutely everything-from a football game to Twitter war. The question is, why Branham? What makes them so special and why do we have this intense rivalry? What is it about those brown bears that make us tick?
Leigh and Branham, like we all know, are a part of the Campbell Union High School District. Since we are in the same district, we automatically want to compete to prove our superiority. Adding to that, our high schools are located only two miles apart. This close proximity creates some tension- we all want to defend our “territory”. Leigh opened first in 1962, Branham coming five years later in 1967. Because these schools also happened to open around the same time, it created a rivalry from the very beginning. Leigh has been awarded the California Distinguished School award in both 1999 and 2003; where Branham has only been awarded it once in 2006. This further created a wedge between the schools.
It seems that recently, the expansion of social media has only increased the intensity of the rivalry. Whether it’s smack talk over text or tweeting pictures on the Smack High Twitter account, Leigh and Branham students find ways to continue the rivalry through cyberspace.
“Social Media gives more opportunities for Leigh and Branham players and fans to communicate, but it is also a spark plug for trash talk and subsequent fights… I like everything settled on the field,” said Branham senior, Arman Sabouri.
After this year’s defeat of Branham or our “Redemption”, Leigh’s school spirit is stronger than ever. Branham has never lacked spirit and student support- it looks like some of it has rubbed off on our Stampede. This comes to the conclusion: our rivalry really can be a good thing.
“I think it’s really good for schools to have rivalries because it seems to to make both teams work even harder and play an even better game,” said Hailey Juncker, Leigh freshman.
The Leigh v. Branham rivalry is very well known in our community. It creates a competitive but friendly nature for all of our competitive aspects: athletics, band, and social media.