The student news site of Chippewa Valley High School

The Tomahawk

The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

Kay O'Neil

Kay O'Neil

Kylie Kuskowski, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It was once proclaimed Chippewa would lose their winning streak to Dakota and once they lost, they would never see that Superintendent Trophy again. After last year, it all changed.

Dakota was built in 1995, splitting the classes at Chippewa Valley High School and tearing apart friends who have grown up with each other since elementary school. This still happens today when friends from elementary school are separated from middle school to high school.

With Chippewa and Dakota being the only two high schools in the district, there was bound to be some conflict. Even without the rivalry, all sports events are intense and each team wants to win; but when it comes to Chippewa playing Dakota, that is a different story.

Two seniors, Cardell Snorton and Zay Booker, both attended Dakota their freshmen year for one semester then transferred to Chippewa the second semester. Snorton and Booker experienced both sides of the rivalry as a Cougar and a Big Red. Snorton compared the high school’s competition to Michigan and Michigan State, it divided the community. When asked what the biggest difference was between each school, Snorton and Booker agreed, “Chippewa is more like a big family. Dakota didn’t feel like a home, here the staff and students are more supportive.”

When Dakota was first built, they sized their football field incorrectly and required the need to share Chippewa’s field. Each week, the stadium was being destroyed with every game played by each team. When it came time for Dakota to play Chippewa for their home game, it got interesting. Current teacher and past student, Mike Matway, shares, “The Chippewa community had to sit on their away bleachers at their own school. It was such a weird feeling having Dakota cheer on our bleachers, covering up our school name with their own.” The Chippewa-Dakota game will always be one of the biggest games of the year; thousands of people attend, while the whole community cheers on their boys. Back when they shared a field, they would have to bring in extra sets of bleachers to make room for all the fans.

The first couple years at Dakota they didn’t have the best teams. It was a new school with less students, giving them less options to form sports teams. For the first couple of games that the Big Reds played the Cougars, the Big Reds beat them. With time, though, the school grew and students of all varieties grew as a team and became stronger than ever. For years, it seemed as though Chippewa would never see a victory against Dakota again.

Chippewa’s varsity football coach, Scott Merchant, states that the rivalry was already a big thing before he was hired, almost nine years ago. Still, he treats the game as any other. Obviously, it is a huge game, but he doesn’t want to put any more pressure on his boys. The difference between the Dakota game rather than any other is the boy’s motivation level. They’re already driven to beat their rival and he has to work less to keep them focused on their goal. Merchant said, “Before last year, it was a long run where we were never able to beat Dakota. Nobody was expecting the outcome we got last year. We had a young team and nobody seemed to expect much from them with their senior class that won just one game in junior varsity. I was extremely proud of my team last year and how they stepped up and finally broke the streak. It made a big step in our program, proving everyone wrong.”

Chippewa Valley High School’s principal, Dr. Jerry Davisson, was overcome with joy last year after his school had won the game, stating, “The boys always worked so hard and it was such a relief to see them come out victorious, breaking their dry spell. This year, they have to stay focused. The team has beat Dakota once, they know they can do it again.”

The Dakota game this year is going to be different than any other. Chippewa now has a veteran team, they know what it’s like to beat Dakota and are “hungry for more,” senior Brian Schiewick shared, “It’s a game you look forward to because you hope to bring the trophy back. I’m going to go out there and play like it is any other game, focusing on the idea that they’re just another team in our path for greatness. We beat them last year, then lost to them in playoffs and it’s still on my mind. I just want to go out there and kill them.”

Coach Merchant has a lot of confidence in his team this year, sharing that they are great boys and a good senior class. This Friday is a huge game not only because they play Dakota, but if they win, they clench a spot in playoffs, as they only need one more win to guarantee themselves a spot in playoffs. Both teams are 5-1 and any outcome is possible. The team is going in with a positive attitude and the expectation is to win. Booker said, “Chippewa was the underdog to Dakota for a long time but now it’s changing… we have a lot to prove this year.” Each week, the coaches watch their team get better but they know accidents can happen, and it may not always be the best team who wins in the end. The team just wants to make their students, staff, and alumni proud. Merchant fully encourages the student section to get loud when Dakota has the ball.

Come out this Friday, October 6th, at 7pm, to support your Chippewa Valley Big Reds at Dakota High School and help them show no pity to the kitty!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    Senior Spotlight: Katie Burton

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    Chippewa Valley’s 2017 Senior Night

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    The Hot Start

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    News

    To Stand Or To Kneel, That Is The Question

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    Mac Blue Champions: Chippewa Boys Tennis Takes Over

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    In the Eyes of the Band

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    Going Behind the Scenes of the Homecoming Parade

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    March of Dimes: A Fighting Chance for Every Baby

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    The Most Heartwarming Day of the Year

  • The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota

    Showcase

    Big Reds Baseball Coming from the Ground Up: A Senior Perspective

The student news site of Chippewa Valley High School
The Ultimate Rivalry: Chippewa vs. Dakota