The Long Rivalry of PHS and THS


Dylan Dooling (11th), Reporter

For years now, there has been rivalry between other sports teams, other clothing brands, shoe brands, food brands and many more, but one that isn’t talked about often is school rivalries. Pitman High School and Turlock High School have been rivals ever since Pitman became the new school in town. Arguments that are typically made involve academics, atmosphere, or legacy, but the main topic falls under athletics. There are always strong advocates for either school, but there’s never anyone who stays in the middle.


This used to be a one high school town for years until the new school – John H. Pitman High School – was built. Ever since then there have been a series of events involving both schools, one of them being The Harvest Bowl. This event is where the two high schools in the town go face-to-face on the football field to see who will win. This is probably one of the most bleacher-filled games of the whole season; almost all tickets are sold out just to see the two teams battle it out.


Becoming rivals was expected since there are only two high schools in Turlock; which can cause a lot of tension. For example, this year people were saying that the Pitman vs Turlock Harvest Bowl would be a waste of time because Turlock would win. During another Pitman football game, an incident that happened was a few students from Turlock were saying, “How is Pitman losing to a D3 team?” Another student said “PHS really uses the field to not drop a single point”. This probably causes further tension because we have to use the joint football field which is near the THS campus and for many years was used for only THS games; PHS has a new football field, but it is used for practice only at this point.


Some Turlock students believe their school comes with more opportunities, clubs and events. This can also be seen as a spark for rivalry; better schools tend to have “better people”. Another example of tension between our schools is in correlation with the band reviews, and how both of our schools think our own band is better. Instead of viewing statistics and competition winners to dictate which band is superior, we automatically support our own school, while bashing our opposition. When assuming your school is better, it comes with an ego that will probably make you feel like your school is better in every way, no matter if it’s big or small.


I think this shows that Turlock sees some type of competition with Pitman. I’ve asked a few students their thoughts on the Turlock-Pitman rivalry and if they have had any positive or negative experiences. 


Andrew Merza (PHS student)


Do you feel like we are rivals with THS? “Yes I do feel like we are rivals with Turlock.”


Why do you think that?  “Mostly because of sports; I feel like both schools take sports seriously so seeing who is better is always a competition.” 


Do you like the rivalry between us? “Yes it adds to competition and makes sport events a lot more exciting.” 


Aiden Garcia (PHS student)


Do you feel like we are rivals with THS?  “I think they view us more as rivals than we do [them] which doesn’t really make sense because we usually lose to them.”


Why do you think that? “Well, I have personal friends that attend THS and they say they feel a rivalry between the schools.”


Do you like the rivalry between us? “No, not really. I think it is unneeded but [PHS] and [THS] will most likely be rivals.”


As a student who attends Pitman, I believe the rivalry is still here and is not going anywhere. After hearing people explain how they look at it – a small town, two highschools – I don’t think there’s anything that can be done to stop it. As students said it adds to the school spirit and competitive side of the audience. This also goes for course offerings, school trips, clubs and other events to see which school offers and hosts a better experience and function. Let the school rivalry continue!