The Pointe

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Local History #tbt Blog: From One Came Two: Lakota Football

It was around this time two decades ago that the contest began.

September 18, 1998, will be remembered by the high school football faithful as the date the Lakota East Thunderhawks defeated their brethren, the Lakota West Firebirds, in the “first Lakota District East/West rivalry game.” (1)

Approximately 11,000 fans exhibiting extreme cases of football fever converged onto Galbreath Field in Kings Mills, Ohio, to witness the historic matchup that ended with a score of 15-8 (1).

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We’re talking an Ohio State-University of Michigan kind of fever.

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The gridiron battle was a benchmark in Lakota schools history, occurring after the Lakota school system opened two new and “completely identical” Lakota high schools -- Lakota East in Liberty Township and Lakota West in West Chester.  (2)

Prior to the two-high school plan, Lakota high school students gathered in one building. Back then the football players were the proud and mighty Lakota High School Thunderbirds. (1)

As time passed more and more families migrated to the area. Eventually the ever-increasing student population prompted the construction of two separate high school buildings. That paved the way for more opportunities for student involvement in academic and extracurricular activities.

It also meant two high school football teams to cheer on to victory.

Today the Lakota school system comprises the “largest suburban district in Southwest Ohio and the eighth largest in Ohio...” (2)

While Lakota’s East-West sibling rivalry may have abated over the years, each school’s fan base continues to enthusiastically support its team. They follow the advice of those West Coast sages known as the Beach Boys (a name that has not changed in six decades) :

“Be True to Your School.”

(1)“Sports Vault : Remembering when Lakota High School Became East and West” by Tom Ramstetter, WCPO Contributor

(2) “Unique historic split : Lakota divides into 2 identical  high schools” by Michael D. Clark, Staff Writer, Journal-News, April 9, 2017

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