BCHS and McNair extend olive branch

Sandra Sunio, Staff Writer

In past years, McNair and Bear Creek students expressed their longstanding rivalry through vandalism, heated social media exchanges and threats of violence. This year, the two rivals have extended an olive branch in hopes of preventing the animosity that last year culminated in the canceling of the senior night football game.

Rather than spreading graffiti all over campus, teepee-ing the oak tree, and stacking all of the school’s trash cans before the big game, the two schools had a flashlight war during the game instead.

McNair’s and Bear Creek’s student sections exchanged messages across the football field using the flashlights on their cellphones to form letters or symbols. Both student sections ended the conversation with a heart.

McNair’s ASB President Michael Stallworth has been communicating with Bear Creek’s ASB President Farrahlynn Bonocan to plan events that will ease the tension with Bear Creek.

Stallworth communicated with Bonocan last month to invite Bear Creek students to attend McNair’s movie night at their campus to improve relations between the schools.

“I really wanted to decrease the tension between McNair and Bear Creek because we are two great schools who bring different things to the tables, and with the help of each other, we are able to improve our community,” Stallworth said.

Stallworth is currently working with his ASB members to organize more events for the two schools to attend together to allow students to bond and share ideas that would influence positive changes on both campuses and the community.

“Although rivalry is a tradition, it should be clean, respectable and friendly,” Stallworth said.

Bear Creek has also made similar attempts to make peace with its rival. Bonocan and ASB Commissioner of Public Relations David Hancock had planned a friendsgiving dinner with McNair’s student government class, but busy schedules prevented them from doing so.

“To me, the school rivalry isn’t as heated as it has been for the past years that I have attended Bear Creek,” Bonocan said. “It’s really cool to see and know that both ends are trying to fix a once broken road.”

As a result of the now friendly rivalry, Stallworth has noticed more McNair students befriending Bear Creek students as well as more positive social media interactions.

“There have been no Twitter fights or bashing of either school, and the football game was very clean and well-played; there were no fights [nor] other incidents that occurred,” Stallworth said.

Some students say they appreciate McNair’s attempts to reach out.

“I feel like they feel bad that things happened [so that] we didn’t have a senior night [for football], and they’re trying to make it up to us,” junior Edwin Esquejo said.