Episcopal replaces St. John’s as new adversary

William Scott

The infamous St. John’s-Kinkaid rivalry is one of the biggest in Houston. The history behind these two teams continues to grow in every sport. Though the feud between the Falcons and the Mavericks is unmatched in regard to its history, the Episcopal Knights are beginning to pose more of a threat to Kinkaid’s sports teams. These two rivals have impacted the history of Kinkaid’s athletics, but Episcopal’s talent is offering a potential shift as Kinkaid’s ultimate competitor.

ST. JOHN’S

Every fall for nearly four decades, Kinkaid’s football team has taken on their notorious rival—St. John’s—at the Rice Football Stadium; however, eyes as the falcons standards rise, so does the competition. The football matchup between Kinkaid and St. John’s has provided both teams with a game to look forward to and has also given all students from both schools an opportunity to congregate together in one stadium. Although this annual tradition will most likely continue for many years to come, the game has recently been on a slow, constant decline in intensity and competitiveness, as the scores have gotten less close each year. Many football players and other Kinkaid athletes would say Episcopal has replaced St. John’s as the Falcons number one athletic rivalry; however, St. John’s field hockey team has proved to be exceptionally competitive and has been for several seasons. “St. John’s is our biggest competition in SPC every year and it’s always a close game,” said senior captain Merritt Cozby.

The initial game that commenced the long-lived rivalry took place in 1951, the first year  Kinkaid could fill an 11-man roster. Prior to 1951, Kinkaid had a six-man football team because of its lack of students. Kinkaid lost its first three games against St. John’s before achieving its first victory in 1954.

With a relatively even record by 1979, their 28th year of playing each other, both schools instituted a new tradition of holding the event at the Rice Owls’ football stadium. This widely recognized, annual game has been important for Kinkaid’s football season and, just like all SPC matchups, is critical for the team’s placement in SPC. By 2002, Kinkaid had won 31 of the 52 games played against St. John’s, giving St. Johns a total of 21 victories. The Falcons have displayed dominance over the Mavericks giving them their last victory in 2012.

EPISCOPAL

Competitors throughout the SPC are emerging to take out the Falcons’ talented sports teams, who recently, have been displaying successes in both mens and womens athletics. Episcopal High School is a rival that is consistently producing talented sports teams. After meetings between the Knights and the Falcons in the SPC Championship matchups for football, baseball, and softball last year, the feud between the two schools has resparked. Before a roaring crowd at the final SPC football matchup at The University of Houston football stadium last year, the Kinkaid Varsity Football team came out with a 38-21 win, topping the Knights with a mix of astounding offensive play and a shut-down defense. Though the rematch between these two teams during the 2018-19 regular season ended in a cancellation of the game after the first half of play, sports fans witnessed a preview of the competitiveness both teams possess.

As for baseball and softball, though these two teams endured hard fought games against the Knights, they both experienced a loss in the championship. Many would say the Knights are bound to take the top spot as Kinkaid’s ultimate sports rival, including 2019 Kinkaid graduate, Johnathan Thomas. Throughout his high school career, Thomas discussed his experience concerning the rivalry between his freshman and senior year, he said, “Not really, my freshman year everyone hated Episcopal and my senior year nothing changed, they were the team everyone in school wanted to beat.” Thomas also mentioned how the rivalry was steadily rising stating that, “Episcopal is by far the most competitive team in every sport within SPC.” Through the continuous rise of competitiveness and talent Episcopal has to offer, the future between the Knights and the Falcons holds a lot of potential.Episcopal SPC Game