WJ and B-CC tensions ignite in brawls

Danis Cammett

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Emma Saltzman

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Photo by Danis Cammett

B-CC vandalized WJ’s senior shed, sparking a series of events that ended in violent clashes.

In recent weeks, the WJ/B-CC rivalry came to a head in a series of vandalism incidents and fights surrounding the boys’ varsity basketball game that led to three B-CC students being arrested and thousands of dollars worth of damage. Although the rivalry is known to be intense, many didn’t expect this outcome.

Tensions began to rise on Jan. 14, when WJ students walked into school to notice that their beloved senior shed had been spray-painted over by B-CC graffiti overnight. The messages read things such as “roll barons” and “sad cows.”

WJ students retaliated the next day, allegedly spray-painting obscene messages on the sides of the building, near the entrance and on their electronic sign.

Rumors of potential fights spread like wildfire over social media between the two schools before the game. The game was intense, with the Wildcats taking an early lead, but as the game went on the Barons caught up. Cheering intensified, and vulgar sayings were shouted across the student sections.

“There was definitely tension, you could hear people saying F-WJ, F-BCC,” junior Enzo Molina said.

The Wildcats fell to the Barons 59-58. Students from B-CC stormed the court, with both sides taunting each other and getting close. Everyone rushed out the same doors to the parking lot, and chaos ensued.

“A mass of kids, there [were] people everywhere, colliding,” an anonymous senior said.

Student-on-student violence was rampant across the B-CC campus as many students were spotted in brief skirmishes.

“One of their guys just completely socked my friend in the face,” an anonymous senior said.

Students looked to the boys’ varsity basketball game on Friday, Jan. 24 as a source of continued conflict. In order to prevent altercations, WJ security and administration teams set in place strict security measures.

“[The police presence was] unnecessarily overwhelming, [there were] like 20 police cars, too many cops in bullet proof vests,” junior Arun Sen said.

The game was relatively tame, especially due to many of the upperclassmen being gone for their Canada skiing trip. Nonetheless, the underclassmen-dominated student section helped cheer the Wildcats to a landslide victory, 71-47. The Wildcats kept a lead throughout the duration of the game. No fights occurred before or after, and cheering was respectful and controlled.

Tensions between the two schools have calmed since the games, but there is no doubt that this age-old school rivalry has reached a new level.