Notes from Newcastle

October 4, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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Hazen/Liberty rivalry is special

Christina Corrales-Toy

Christina Corrales-Toy

Prior to the high school football season, players from both Hazen and Liberty weren’t shy in saying that Sept. 13 was most definitely circled on their calendars.

The contest pitting the two East Renton Highlands schools against each other is more than a regular game; it’s a battle among childhood friends for pride and bragging rights.

“We love to play those boys. Cross-town rivalries are always fun,” Liberty running back Russell Boston said at the beginning of the season.

The Highlanders definitely agree, with senior Joe Glaefke calling the Patriots a greater rival than most of Hazen’s Seamount League opponents.

Just three miles separate the schools, and they both have a 98059 Renton ZIP code. They sit in competing districts and athletic conferences, but that wasn’t always the case, as Liberty used to be in the Seamount League.

The atmosphere at the Sept. 13 contest told the story of the game’s importance, as a certain electricity filled the stands at Renton Memorial Stadium.

The reason that the rivalry matters is because these kids grew up together. They played in youth sport leagues together, and likely ran into each other in the community.

The young men on the gridiron were once teammates playing for the Five-Star youth football program, making it fitting that the organization’s young players were honored during the game’s halftime.

Ultimately, it was the Liberty student section’s right to chant, “We run Renton,” when the Patriots defeated the Highlanders, 28-7.

The Hazen/Liberty rivalry is a special one, though, and it shouldn’t be confined to just football. Every sport should make it a point to schedule the opposing school as a nonconference foe.

Furthermore, the rivalry needs a name. I don’t think the “Renton Rivalry” would cut it, as I’m sure other high schools in Renton would take issue. The “East Renton Highlands Rivalry” makes sense, but it’s admittedly a little wordy.

How about something centered on the shared ZIP code? Does the “Battle of the 98059” or the “98059 Rivalry” have a ring to it?

What do you think Hazen/Liberty rivalry should be called? Email your suggestions to newcastle@isspress.com and we’ll run them in the next issue of Newcastle News.

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