BY AMELIA KUHN – Staff Writer
Each year the crowd piles into a crazy gym to watch one of the most intense rivalries in the Lancaster-Lebanon basketball league. Cedar Crest and Lebanon have been rivals ever since Cedar Crest High School was established in 1966.
The rivalry has stayed at an intense hatred over the years, but why?
Lebanon High School Principal, Mr. William Giovino believes that due to the proximity, how could the schools not be rivals? The schools are not even ten miles away from each other, and the scene is set for a typical small but close town rival.
The intensity builds especially since kids can attend either school if they are willing to pay to attend a school out of their district, since the schools are so close.
Lebanon High was established long before Cedar Crest, and many LHS grads moved out to Cornwall-Lebanon resulting in their kids going to Cedar Crest. This can also spark rivalry from parents because they choose to support their kids more than their alma mater.
Even though the winner of the game only receives pure bragging rights, fans still go crazy as if the winning team was going to win a million dollars. It is the most intense game of the year.
Lebanon and Cedar Crest have played a total of 61 games, Lebanon is leading with wins, 34 to 27.
A Lebanon High graduate, Ms. Lisa Shucker, made comments on the rivalry saying that back when she was a Lebanon high basketball player this game was huge ordeal. The gym was always packed; it was the game of the year.
“Before kids would always go to the games, I was always excited for every game, that game was always fun. Now the school isn’t as involved, before there was much more pride to be a Cedar,” Shucker said.
Mrs. Terri Johnston also commented mentioning, “This is always the most spirited game because it is the game that everyone puts their best effort forward.”
Seniors, Alicia Haitos and Luke Eisenhour, gave an inside look about what it feels like to play in the game, what it means to them, and what to expect this year.
When asked about the game Haitos said, “This rivalry is one of the best aspects of growing up in Lebanon County. It’s a rivalry where you hate each other on the field/court but respect each other on and off.
“The atmosphere of the game is incredible and indescribable. I personally believe that this game is the most fun out of all of them throughout the season.
“This year I want to make it worth it, seeing as it’s my last opportunity to play in this game. I can’t wait to step in the court.”
Eisenhour also said, “The game is crazy, it’s everything people would expect. It’s one of the most intense things I have ever experienced.
“The rivalry means everything to me, It’s what I look forward to throughout the year.
“I love playing in front of a big crowd and just every seat is filled at that game. It also helps me build momentum for us to compete on that level throughout the season.”
No matter what, you can always expect this game to be wild. This year will be no different.
Get out and support your Lebanon Cedars Girls’ and Boys’ Varsity Basketball teams as they face their rivals by wearing black on January 16th at Cedar Crest High School, tipoff is at 6 pm starting with the girls. Go Cedars!