Last night was the big football game between Herndon High School and South Lakes High School. Herndon came out victorious, but it was a nail-biter down to the last 9 seconds when Herndon intercepted a South Lakes pass as South Lakes made their way down the field hoping for the winning touch down.
Having grown up in Reston, I can tell you that this rivalry is as organic as they come. There is some interesting history between the two schools that contribute to this.
Back in the seventies my high school class entered Herndon Middle and proceeded on to Herndon High School for our freshman year. At that time, Herndon High had students from Herndon, all of Reston and western Great Falls. In 1978, Fairfax County opened South Lakes. There was huge demand for the new Reston high school and many parents were dismayed to find out that the only students who would be attending were those on the south side of the Dulles Access Road (the Dulles Toll Road did not yet exist). I remember my dad attending many meetings in an attempt to get our neighborhood included in the boundaries for the new school. We all wanted to attend the big new school with the great football stadium!
The new school opened in Fall of 1978. The school opened with 2 grades: 9 grade and 10th grade. The 10th grade was comprised of half of my class from Herndon High School. Our class, which had started together at Herndon Middle was literally divided in half. Each year the school added a 9th grade until they had their first graduating class in 1981. I was part of the class that remained at Herndon High.
As you can imagine, when we watched half of our class go to a new school and begin competing against us, the rivalry was pretty intense. Many of the Herndon students had gone to school with the South Lakes students since preschool. Of course, by starting with a 10th grade class, it took a couple of years before South Lakes Varsity sports program was at full capacity, but it was immediately a fun, and intense, rivalry.
In the years that have followed, the boundary between the schools has changed. Baron Cameron Avenue now creates the logical divide for the South Lakes boundaries; everyone north of Baron Cameron (with a few exceptions) goes to Herndon High School and south of Baron Cameron goes to South Lakes.
Last year, Fairfax County adjusted the boundaries for South Lakes which resulted in a pretty intense boundary fight/discussion between parents and the county board. Over the years, the families who have stayed at Herndon High School all these years have become passionate supporters for the HHS traditions. If anything, the rivalry intensified following this process.
In addition to the boundary discussion, the children of Reston generally play youth sport together up to and into the middle school years. Once they hit high school, they separate and head off to their respective schools. This also contributes to the intense rivalry.
So this football game last night, which somewhere along the way became known as the Baron Cameron Bowl (the Washington Post keeps saying it is named after the local park, but I would bet money that it is based on the road that serves as the boundary between the two schools) was, as always, a big game between two long time rivals.
Both of these schools have strong traditions,loyal supporters, and a wonderful, competitive and exciting cross town rivalry in each other! May it continue for a long, long time to come.
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