Has the Hall vs. Conard Rivalry Gone Too Far


Nadav Azran

Halls fan section cheering on Hall's football team.

Rivalry games are a part of every culture, all sports, and everything really. From backyard games to major sporting events, everyone has a game in particular that they circle on the calendar. Examples of these rivalries include Michigan versus Ohio State, USA versus Mexico, even our in town rivalry of Hall versus Conard. 


Across the country, high school rivalries fuel school spirit. Some tend to be playful, others taken to the next level. However, It’s those rivalries that make it to the headlines. Included in the vast sea of rivalries lies none other than the local one, Hall versus Conard. 


Hall High School and Conard High School have been rivals in sports since 1957, lately however, the rivalry has become more aggressive and more violent. 


On February 23rd, 2015, a fight broke out at a Hall versus Conard basketball game. Students from both teams rushed the court, followed immediately by fighting. According to an article from NBC, the police were called and “Obtained three arrest warrants, served three juvenile summonses and issued four juvenile review board referrals.” 


More recently, in the summer of 2018, someone suspected to be from Conard spray painted CHS (Conard High School) along with a picture of the male anatomy on the Hall football field. According to Dan Zittoun, Hall’s Principle, “the police investigated the matter and although they did not have enough evidence to make an arrest, they had a pretty good idea on who the individuals were involved.” 


In more recent events, on November 6th, 2019, many girls on the Conard field hockey team sent around a picture of a bunch of pumpkins lined up in a row, all carved to spell out “F*ck Hall.” 


Hall versus Conard is the rivalry of the town, attracting many spectators for all sporting events. However these past events have made the rivalry seem violent, fueled by hate. 


Furthermore, the Conard varsity field hockey team gathered at a players house on November 6th, 2019, to carve pumpkins before the Hall versus Conard field hockey game. During the carving, they decided to carve “F*ck Hall” into the pumpkins, proceeding to put it onto social media. 


We reached out to two Conard field hockey girls for comments regarding the incident, however both refused to share any comments. The third girl we reached out to initially agreed to interview with us, however, after talking to her team, decided to abstain from commenting in order to put the event in the past.


Although they carved pumpkins with an explicit term in them, the punishment they received ended up being almost as bad as the consequences for someone caught with illegal substances. 


All the girls in the picture were suspended for one game, the captains in the picture were stripped of their captainship, and all younger members involved are prohibited from receiving a captainship their senior year. Although what they did was wrong, the punishment they received turned out to be extreme.


Mrs. Dailey, the Conard field hockey coach, as well as a Hall teacher stated, “Yes, I think competition is healthy, but the Conard Hall rivalry has taken it to a new level. This is because Hate is associated with the rivalry and that is never a good thing”. 


Others tend to disagree. For example, when we asked Senior Blue Reign Leader Nadav Azran the same question, the response turned out to be completely different. Azran stated, “In my opinion I don’t think it’s taking it to a new extreme, you always see these college football teams and their fans go ballistic for their team that is what Conard has done this year. Some things they’ve done are disrespectful to administration and to the public eye however I believe that in our society today, people don’t really take things with a grain of salt”. 


In order to avoid future acts of physical or verbal aggression from either side, it’s important to take extra precaution for most Hall versus. Conard sporting events, especially football, basketball, and soccer, as these games tend to rile the crowds up the most. When asked if anything should be done to avoid future conflict, Hall High School’s principal, Mr. Zittoun, stated it’s not “For me to involve myself or share my thoughts on what should be done,” and that he has an “Outstanding relationship with Mr. Siegal (Athletic Director) and Mr. Duarte (Conard principal) and I trust them completely to hold students accountable for inappropriate behavior and also make these incidents a learning opportunity.” 


In another interview with Senior Blue Reign Leader, Nadav Azran, Azran stated that Hall administration has done an adequate job at censoring Hall’s possible comments and remarks during games, however Conard’s administration, at least from a students perspective, has not done anything substantial enough to stop anything from coming from Conard.


To summarize the prolonged string of events, the Hall versus Conard has gotten out of hand at times, especially recently. However, when does a rivalry not break the rules or cause a little bit of commotion? Actions should be taken to prevent this type of behavior, but ultimately it’s going to happen, and it simply shows two fan sections going all out for their school. 


Azran describes the rivalry as a “thrilling and fun experience for all students,” as well as for all spectators. People in West Hartford grow up knowing and seeing the Hall versus. Conard rivalry, and can’t wait to take part in it. In addition, the athletes competing in these games circle the date of this game year after year, training extensively to crush their opponent. 


Overall, the rivalry is something unique, and should be cherished, however the recent string of events that have been occurring must come to an end. 


As stated by Coach Blanchfield (Football) “364 days and 22 hours we are the best of friends, but 2 hours on a saturday afternoon and now a friday night, we’re gonna go at it”. While at times this can be true, often it’s not the case. If anything can be taken from this rivalry, it’s that these schools are gonna go at it whenever they can.