By Taylor John Gordon
SFHS Student Body President
“United We Stand, Divided We Fall”
On September 28 the mighty Spanish Fork Dons were to face off against one of their most prominent rival schools, the Payson Lions. The intensity between our two teams and student sections can be rivaled by little or none. Many times in the past, rivalries such as this have led to bad blood between the schools of Nebo School District. As we debated over which dress up theme to choose for the upcoming game, the idea of a “U.S.A.” theme arose and we all loved it. We began making posters and publicizing for the theme as well as the game.
A few days later, we were informed that Payson’s Student Council had chosen the same “U.S.A.” theme. Usually, we would instantly change our theme in order to keep from matching with the other team and causing confusion. But something was different about this game. Through Instagram, we learned that Payson planned on honoring the firefighters before the start of the game. Those firefighters have worked day in and day out to keep the people, and the city they love safe. We decided we would join Payson in honoring these firefighters and keep our “U.S.A.” theme for the game.
Not long after this, my good friend, the Student Body President for Payson High School, Logan Bennett, contacted and notified me that they would be having a tailgate barbeque before the game. He said our entire council is welcome and that he would love to see us there. It was so good to see the unity of two schools coming together. So I spread the word to our Student Council, and many of us went! It was honestly so good to get to know them better and become great friends. Not to mention the hot dogs were great!
Once the game started, everyone was happy and cheering. It was one of the biggest crowds we have ever had to an away game. At one point a couple of students from their section came over to ours and led a cheer or two. It was just a game that was all about friendship. When halftime was coming to a close, Payson’s student section began to line up by the entrance to the field in order to welcome their team back on. Many of my friends and I decided to join them. Our amazing administrator Jolynn Ford saw us on the move and thought we were on our way to cause trouble. We explained that we just wanted to cheer on the two teams with our friends. She smiled and let us go. When the Payson players marched onto the field, it didn’t matter that they weren’t our team, we cheered right by Logan’s side. When the Dons thundered out, Logan and his fellow students cheered just as we did for them. I can honestly say it was one of the best games I’ve ever been to. Not because of how amazing both teams played (which was indeed outstanding). But because of the unity between our schools.
After the game, I noticed both ours and Payson’s student section had met halfway across the field and were talking with old friends from sports, clubs, or organizations. We were just one big happy Nebo family!
Logan then invited any Don who wanted, to attend Payson’s post-game ritual at McDonalds, sadly I wasn’t able to go. But it was the thought that counted. I am truly so proud of how both of our schools acted, I have never seen such a friendship between schools in any instance. Because of this, I have made many friends which I will continue to stay in touch with. And it is my hope that as a whole, we have helped the future of not only our two schools but all of Nebo. High School rivalries aren’t about painting “The Rock” green or painting the “P” red. They are about building lasting friendships, sharing experiences that will last a lifetime, and engaging in active competition. I love my school and I love the schools we rival with. And I am so grateful to be in the position I am because I get to see the amazing things my fellow misunderstood high school students can accomplish. I am beyond proud of everyone involved, and everyone who makes little differences such as this every day.