By: Ayden Clayton, Review Staff
With the Raiders’ football team moving into a new conference next year for “rebuilding football programs,” many expected a lot changes next season, but few expected RHS would eliminate a face with its main rival and its biggest game of the year for players, students, alumni and fans — that’s right, The Anvil Game is no more.
The term “Anvil Game” between Rangeview High School and Gateway High School started about 10 years ago, but the rivalry has been consistent since the opening of Rangeview 30-plus years ago, with the Raiders winning a majority of the games and dominating the last decade.
The change comes among the schedule dispersed by the Colorado High School Activities Association grouping teams into different conferences based on rankings, team win/loss records, and who needs to rebuild their program.
The schedule change put the Rangeview football team in the conference “10,” which is a group of 10 teams that are in the rebuilding process of their programs. This includes: Denver East, Smoky Hill, Adams City, Far Northeast, Westminster, Boulder, Mountain Range, Prairie View, and Northglenn.
The new schedule should still leave room for at least one non-conference game, but Athletic Director Mr. Strouse said he decided not to schedule Gateway based on a couple of reasons.
“We aren’t having it for at least the next two year cycle…” Strouse said. “We aren’t trying to have our teams play 4A teams; we are looking for a 5A school to fill our one non-conference game, but we can hopefully be looking forward to seeing the game in the next two years.”
Many around RHS are disheartened by the decision to end why many consider one of the biggest rivalries in the state.
“That’s like one of the biggest games of our season and it’s really something everybody looks forward to,” said sophomore Kaleb Starling, a varsity receiver for the Raiders. “It’s really crazy that it’s gone, but I’m glad that I’ve had an experience in the history of Rangeview.”
The Raiders this past season went 3-7, matching their record from last year, thus making their record 6-14 in the last two years. Next year, the Raiders football team will be full of underclassmen, leaving a few seniors left on the team and no big matchup on the schedule.
“I think it’s a great rivalry that Coach Gonzales and Hoffman lead the way with in the past years…” said Mr. Anderson, the Raiders’ receivers coach for the past 10 years. “…It gave us a great meaning in a cross-town rivalry, but The Anvil is going to stay with us forever; it gave us a lot of meaning and motivation in the sport.”
With the change of the season and with the Anvil Game to be removed out of Rangeview’s long-running tradition, the fans are also expressing disbelief that long-standing experiences will be lost and new students won’t be able to feel the spirited atmosphere of the cross-town games.
“The game here at Gateway was a really big deal,” said senior Devante Taylor, a student from Gateway. “I know for sure that the game was a big deal over here for parents and for students because it goes back nearly two generations.”
The Raiders have gone 10-3 in the last 13 years against the Gateway Olympians, and Gateway moved down to 4A in football recently while the Raiders have remained in 5A.
“I think that it’s a bad idea to take away the Anvil,” senior Raider fan Cristian Salazar said. “The Anvil Game brought many of us RHS students together for a time of fun and excitement to root for our home team. I can say out of my four years here at Rangeview, the Anvil Game was the most hype thing to come to Rangeview — along with the basketball rivalry (with Gateway).”
The start of a new school year marks the start of new rivalries, new games, and new experiences; for the 2018 football season at RHS, that will mean for the first time in its history, the Rangeview football will not play Gateway.