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Golden Lions, War Eagles set to do battle once again
October 7th, 2014

St. Pius X and Marist renew their rivalry this fall
Written by: Jay Cavalli ‘15 (Golden Lines staff writer)

After four years of trying to avoid yet another loss to St. Pius X, Marist is scheduled to finally play the Golden Lions in football this season because of our move to AAAA, which once again landed St. Pius in the same region and classification as Marist.

The last time these teams met, sophomore quarterback Trey White (2012) was making his first ever start against the heavily favored Marist team. In a rivalry historically dominated by Marist, no one thought such a young and unproven sophomore could lead St. Pius to only its second victory over its bitter rival in the past decade. A few hours later fans left the game knowing not only how wrong they had been, but that St. Pius' victory could have implications beyond that year’s standings.

St. Pius didn't just beat Marist, they dominated them. In a way that had not been seen in a very long time, St. Pius completely outplayed Marist on both sides of the ball. The offense couldn't be contained, and the defense was so overpowering that Marist could not find the end zone the entire game. After four quarters of what current St. Pius students consider regular Golden Lions Football, St. Pius left Hughes Spalding Stadium with a 28-3 victory.

Unfortunately, shortly after this monumental victory, the two teams stopped playing. But why would rivals who have played annually for decades suddenly stop facing off on the gridiron? There are lots of theories, ranging from Marist being scared of another loss to simple scheduling conflicts. Whatever the reason, St. Pius played its next four seasons without the traditional game against Marist on the schedule.

With no football game, the rivalry has come to a small pause but that rivalry will undoubtedly pick up right where it left off when St. Pius takes the field against Marist on October 10 with a chance not only for a win against a region opponent, but to start a new chapter in the rivalry where St. Pius approaches the game as the favorite rather than the underdog. To pull off that kind of turnaround, St. Pius needs to take advantage of the teams' first matchup, and that’s exactly what the Golden Lions intend to do.

Students, faculty, family and friends from St. Pius are excited for the game, and with this being the first St. Pius vs. Marist game any current students have been to while attending St. Pius, you can expect an electric atmosphere when the two finally meet.

"You have no idea how excited I am I'm so glad we finally get to play Marist," said senior Mary Jo Conboy "It's awesome we get to play them before we graduate."

Few high school rivalries have been more passionate than St. Pius vs. Marist, and students this year are more than ready to do their part in carrying on the tradition.

But it's not just students that are excited about the upcoming matchup. Teachers and faculty are also ready for the game, some looking forward to their first ever St. Pius/Marist game, others having been at St. Pius since the peak of the rivalry.

English and French teacher Ms. Carrie Stockard is one of the teachers who has been at St. Pius since the most intense days of the rivalry.

"Back in the 80s it was more about basketball than football,” said Stockard. “It was a huge deal, it was so much fun. You couldn't get a seat at the games. One time my friend bruised my arm she was grabbing it so hard cause the game was so intense."

With four years of anticipation and build up, expect a similar atmosphere at Marist’s home stadium when the teams take the field in two weeks.

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