East-West games to continue through at least 2023

Meg Gross, Editor-In-Chief

For Thunderbirds and Chieftains alike, arguably the most anticipated game of the season continues to be Bellevue’s oldest tradition, the annual East-West game. This Friday, Jan. 21, Bellevue East will make the 2.5 mile trip to take on the Thunderbirds in boys and girls basketball for what will be the rivalry’s 45th anniversary, dating back to 1977, when West and East separated from the former Bellevue High. 

Despite the long history, rumors swept the Bellevue West hallways during football season as students and staff speculated on whether the East-West rivalry would continue after this school year. 

West Athletic Director Jon Mauro clarified that despite the many rumors, the rivalry is not going anywhere.

“There was some definite discussion on not playing each other at the district level,” Mauro said. Since Bellevue East ended up in the same football district, we have to play each other for the next two years.” 

Mauro said that if the two schools hadn’t been put in the same district, the rivalry was likely to end. 

The district thought that may have been a good thing to take a break for a couple of years, but either way, it worked out,” Mauro said. 

According to Mauro, the Thunderbirds will continue to play Bellevue East in the regular season for basketball, and likely other sports depending on conference assignments.

“Sometimes the results of the game can get to be controversial and divisive, which I get, but I think the things that surround the game are always really good,” Mauro said. “It’s just a good time for both schools to get together and showcase a lot of the talent in the community.”