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The Raider Review

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Scoops and Hoops
May 13, 2024

Central v. Andover: The Value of a Rivalry
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When you think of Central’s rival in sports, who do you think of? For most, one school comes to mind: Andover. Whether it’s an important football playoff game or tennis match, the rivalry between Andover and Central remains constant.

Although it may feel like Andover has always been a rival, there was a point in time where this rivalry was not around. The true rivalry had not begun until the first Thanksgiving football game was played with the two teams head to head in 1972. Ms. Andrade, a former Andover student, current teacher at Central Catholic, and Central girls soccer and track coach remembers that, “the Central-Andover game was such a big Thanksgiving tradition that the Andover boosters would even make shirts for it.”

Even though many Central fans and players have strong feelings about Andover, it is clear that Andover has a strong school spirit. As CCHS sophomore Micheal Roy says, “I think the Andover Jungle is pretty well in tune with their teams. They definitely support each other pretty well.” They are often seen with a strong, boisterous student section at many sporting events.

While the traditional Central-Andover game on Thanksgiving does not take place anymore, the rivalry still remains. Echoing many in the Central community, sophomore Grayson Silver has strong feelings: “I hate Andover. I just don’t like them.” Although he had no explanation for his hatred, the feeling is there.

But has this “hatred” ever been taken too far? Although there haven’t been any violent fights between the two, there have been hurtful words said. Shown in the picture bellow is a sign that was held by an Andover student during the Andover-Central football game this year which reads “We don’t have to pay Jesus to love us.” Many find the sign offensive and unacceptable at a football game.

Andover poster at the Central Homecoming football game, October 2023. 

   Red Sea at a CCHS Basketball Game.

The Andover Jungle and the Red Sea are both strong student sections and claim to be the best in the area. During football games student section chants are often shouted back and forth between the two sections. The Red Sea has the “chop the jungle” chant where they pretend to cut down trees while facing the Andover Jungle student section. The Andover Jungle often has a chant to respond as well.

When it isn’t taken too far, the rivalry makes sporting events really fun. The rivalry isn’t just a show of hatred toward each other, but can actually strengthen sporting events between Andover and Central. Athletes always know how important the Andover-Central game is and will always show up.

Andover High School junior, Luke Organisciak, explains how important it feels to play Central. He says, “when we are about to play Central we dedicate a whole week of practice to the fact that we’re playing Central.” Both teams know how important defeating the opponent is, which makes the game, match, or meet extremely competitive.

Andover poster at the Central Homecoming football game, Oct. 2023. 

A junior from Andover, Nick Magner, explains that “when you play someone every year, you start to remember faces and moments and those stick with you. Year after year the competition just keeps growing and the rivalry keeps growing.” Nick highlights the importance of the rivalry and it’s more than just hatred – it motivates both teams to play their hardest.

The Andover-Central game is always a special one no matter the sport. There is always a lot of anticipation before the game, making it one of the best of the year. This rivalry has been strong for decades and will continue to be the most important  in our league.

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