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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

Rivalry watch: Twitter trash talking at its finest

Students Paige Batson, left, Peyton Anderson, center, and Shelby Ruah show their school spirit in last year's River Ridge-Mitchell game.

David W. Doonan, Special to the Times

Students Paige Batson, left, Peyton Anderson, center, and Shelby Ruah show their school spirit in last year's River Ridge-Mitchell game.



The opening week of high school football season kicks off with two of the biggest rivalry games in the bay area: River Ridge at Mitchell and Palm Harbor University at East Lake.

Those games are standing room-only events due in large part to rabid fan bases. The student sections of those four schools are among the most popular in Tampa Bay. Last year, the Florida High School Athletic Association recognized River Ridge’s student section, dubbed the Purple Posse, as the best in the state.

With the rise in popularity of social media, school spirit has gone to another level with students razzing foes thanks to Twitter taunts. Students at PHU and East Lake, for example, have changed their Twitter handles this week, suggesting that their rival sports not-so-desirable clothing attire (PHU wears Crocs, East Lake wears jorts).

Mitchell and River Ridge taunt each other with clever memes and gifs.

Ahhh, football.

Catch the fever of these student sections.

Student section:
Stang Gang @jwmhsstanggang
War of words: River Ridge running back Chris Schwarz, the all-time leading rusher in Pasco County, graduated. The Stang Gang used River Ridge’s team photo last year with a meme superimposing every player with a head shot of Schwarz, suggesting that he was the only player worth watching on the team.

River Ridge
Student section: Purple Posse @PurplePosse2017
War of words: River Ridge has won the past two meetings against Mitchell. The Purple Posse posted a meme with a Stang Gang T-shirt and superimposed the scores of the last two games, saying it would be a three-peat this year.

Palm Harbor University
Student section:
Rowdies @OfficialRowdies
War of words: The Rowdies started the hype earlier this week with a meme called East Lake Hate Week with the hashtag Kill the Bird — in reference to East Lake’s mascot, the Eagles. The Rowdies superimposed the faces of famous athletes with those of players from both teams. For example, the photo of Usain Bolt running away from the field in the 100 meters was superimposed with Hurricanes receiver TJ Colmery running away from East Lake defensive back Tupac Blanch.

East Lake
Student section:
Blue Crue @officalbluecrue
War of words: Because East Lake has dominated the series against PHU, the Eagles get accused of living in the past. The Blue Crue said the Hurricanes do it, too, especially after beating East Lake for the first time in school history last season.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 2:48pm]


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