Competition Sharpens Effort
Helicopters, parachutists and hot air balloons often shared Lamonica Stadium with marching bands, cheerleaders and football players on Friday nights in the early years of competition between Clovis High and 1970s newcomer Clovis West High. Who had the loudest band? Most spirited student section? Best signage? These questions were intensely debated around the community as was the question of whose quarterback had the best arm.
As iron sharpens iron, competition has a way of sharpening effort and raising standards. Good enough won’t be good enough to win when a standard is set high or when the competition is skilled. In their eagerness to establish Clovis West High as being as good as, if not better, than cross-town rivals Clovis High, the Friday night game became a showcase of creativity, high standards and showmanship for the Golden Eagles’ school leaders and the community, and Clovis High’s team rose to compete. As first Buchanan High, then Clovis East High, and finally Clovis North High joined in the competition, each school created a unique culture and climate in which students, staff and the community could take pride. Today’s All Clovis Week rivalry between Clovis Unified high schools still draws in students, staff and district office employees as the legacy of competition continues.
Teaching kids to give their best effort to become better tomorrow than they are today; to overcome obstacles and compete against a standard of excellence; and finally, to compete together to pull from the team a combined performance that exceeds what any one individual is capable of attaining alone is the model of competition that helps students win in life. And at the end of the game, no matter who wins or loses, in Clovis Unified the alma mater of both schools is played, athletes respectfully face toward the stands of the opposing team to honor their effort, and students are still taught the flip side of the competition coin, to win with class and lose with dignity.