By Linda Lazarit
Friday night lights, the players on either side are fired up and ready to go, the stands are filled with students ready to see their school win the boot. This tradition of the boot is upheld by the rivalry between Bonita Vista High School and Eastlake High School since 1993 to foster school spirit.
“It’s important for an athlete to be driven, that’s part of it for any athlete. When you have that, it inspires you and influences you to play better than you imagine you can. We have the motivation of a boot that symbolizes the rivalry in football between Eastlake and Bonita,” physical education teacher and previous BVH football coach Greg Raby said.
The Associated Student Body advisor in 1992 Mike Swift, wanted to symbolize the competition between BVH and EHS. The idea of a boot to represent every victory of every football game was developed by the ASB advisors of both schools in 1992.
“[Swift] had met with the ASB advisor at Eastlake High School knowing that this would eventually develop into a big rivalry,” BVH alumni class of 1997 and football player Tyler Arciaga said.
With football being the biggest source of income for BVH and EHS ASB’s, the advisors decided it’d be best fit if the boot was a trophy won with every football game won.The football coach at the time Carl Perrick, developed the idea of a football cleat to use which was approved and used in 1993 by both the ASB advisors. Perrick found a pair of used cleats from varsity football player Phillip Green and used his unbeatable size 13 shoes to make the boot.
“At the end of the 1992 season, I found this boot. I took this cleat down to the Blackees trophy shop down in Chula Vista on Third Avenue and had it bronzed. That then was the beginning of the boot and of the rivalry that would develop between the two schools,” Perrick said
The rivalry between both schools, still remains to present day.This becomes a way of income for both schools and a way to bring the community together with a common motivation, to win.
“You know the rivalry is as intense as the coaches, the players and the members in the community want it to be: their boys are playing, their daughters are cheering [for the team], and their kids are involved in setting up the field or playing the halftime show. I think as long as that’s there, you can always have a heated rivalry,” Raby said.
The boot was created as friendly competition among schools. As the tradition has gotten older, the reasons behind it becoming a tradition have grown. The boot is now not only for the motivation of student athletes, it is as well a way for the people in the stands to have school pride.
“Both schools have a lot of pride in what they do and what they represent. It’s a rivalry that I think brings out the best in the coaches, the players on the field, and the community, because you’re supporting our boys,” Raby said.