New divisions end Wootton rivalry


Photo By Nathan Gertler

CHS and Wootton are no longer in the same division and can not be classified as rivals anymore.

By Nathan Gertler, Contest Manager

If you ask any student at CHS who our biggest rival is, there is no doubt they will all give the same answer: Wootton.   To give both CHS and Wootton a chance to see the rivalry, CHS sports teams should play Wootton twice every season but, unfortunately, that will not be the case anymore.

In the past, Wootton has been in the same division as CHS in the 4A South division including sports such as basketball and soccer.  However, last year Wootton was switched to the 4A West division.  This was not their choice, but rather, MCPS’s policy.

“MPSSAA and MCPS athletics put together all of their schedules on a two-year cycle,” Athletic Director Scott Rivinius said.  “The past two years have been part of a new cycle.

The two-year cycles that MCPS has implemented has a negative impact on the actual athletics and school spirit within the two schools, splitting perennial rivals such as Churchill and Wootton, and putting them in opposite divisions.

Big-time rivals such as Northwest, Quince Orchard, Kennedy and Springbrook are in their same respective divisions, so why should CHS and Wootton be separated?

“Last year the regions were split into sections,” Rivinius said. “CHS and Wootton are both now in 4A-West region but CHS is in Section I and Wootton is in Section II.”

Instead of randomly splitting the region like MCPS did last year and switching teams from divisions, MCPS and MPSSAA should place teams in certain divisions based on  records

The Wootton basketball team was placed in a much more competitive division last year with powerhouses Magruder and Gaithersburg, and they did not fare well.   Wootton finished the season with a 1-9 record in their new division and 5-16 overall on the season.   Two teams from CHS’s division, B-CC, and Walter Johnson, finished 1-9 in their divisional play, so Wootton should be placed in a division where they have more equal opponents.

The teams in every division are getting stronger each year, especially the 4A-West division, in which the teams are already superior to most teams in the county.

According to Rivinius, schools are primarily divided and set up based on school location, and the dividing line between divisions is basically right between CHS and Wootton.

If MCPS is basing their division placements based on school location, then it should be a no-brainer that Wootton and CHS should be in the same division, considering the fact that they are approximately five minutes away from each other.

Wootton should be in the Bulldogs’ division because it’s the biggest and most intense game of the season for both schools.  These Wootton-CHS games no doubt attract the biggest spectators and fans from both schools. There should always be two games a season between the two in order to give both schools and both fan bases a chance to see it.

By putting Wootton back in the same division as their competitive counterparts, CHS, MCPS would be bringing back the intense school spirit that exists whenever these two traditional rivals match up against each other.

Having already lost to Wootton in basketball this season, CHS will not have the opportunity to exact revenge on their counterparts this season, and will have to wait until next season when the two teams will play each other again.

One meeting per season, not including the playoffs, between these two colossal rivals, especially in a major sport like basketball, is detrimental not only to the players, but the fans as well.