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When a new high school pops up, a new sports feud is usually born

July 28, 2013 Updated: July 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm
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photo - Vista Ridge students cheer at the incoming fans from the temporary student section Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, before the Wolves first home game against Montrose in their new stadium. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Vista Ridge students cheer at the incoming fans from the temporary student section Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, before the Wolves first home game against Montrose in their new stadium. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

Dylan Clark knew he was going to Sand Creek. The thought of going to newer Vista Ridge never crossed his mind.

Clark, who will be a senior in the fall, hails from District 49, where Sand Creek and Vista Ridge have quickly grown into one of the city's most exciting rivalries.

Not too long ago, Crystal Krebs was fielding three softball teams at Lewis-Palmer.

She had enough for varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams.

Then came Palmer Ridge, opening in 2008-09 and splitting District 38.

Now, Krebs is happy if she has two full squads, though often she has several JV players swing up to varsity to give her a full roster.

Such is life when a new school opens. One of those results: a heated and fun rivalry.

In his three seasons with the Scorpions' boys' basketball team, Clark and his teammates are 4-0 vs. Vista Ridge.

"It's a new school, it's a new rivalry," Clark said. "But with a new rivalry it brings excitement. Kids want to start a new tradition. So far Sand Creek has had the better of it."

Not so when it comes to football. The Wolves have quickly become one of the area powers.

When Dean Huffman was coaching there, he knew the kids automatically considered Sand Creek their rival. He tried to change that, at least with his players.

"Sand Creek was a doormat," said Huffman, who now coaches Sierra and has been introduced to the Stallions' rivalry with Harrison. "Falcon's been the better performer at the middle school and high school for a while. That's who we set the goal as."

Huffman pointed out that Sand Creek has improved under coach Rod Baker, which could make for a closer rivalry.

Huffman built the Vista Ridge program by developing kids during middle school, so when the Wolves went to a full varsity season, they were ready, reaching the 2010 3A state semifinals.

Krebs can see that it's more than just a softball game for many of her players.

"They're more intense," she said. "I think I see it with Palmer Ridge too. I can tell they're louder, they cheer more. Even down to what they wear, it's more boisterous."

A victor gets to be plenty boisterous. The loser, well...

"We don't speak about football," Clark laughed. "But since I'm a basketball guy I don't really care about football."

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