Regis Jesuit: the Rival Nextdoor


Quinn Rudnick

Junior right-winger and center Drew Capra defends the puck during a varsity game against Regis on Jan. 27. Regis tied Creek 3-3.

Marie Webster, Chief Sports Photographer

Creek and Regis do not have a normal rivalry.
The two high schools, both powerhouses in Colorado, have a rivalry that runs deep. Both are ranked in the top five sports programs by CHSAA and at only seven miles apart, the two schools play one another frequently and share friendships and history, all of which only add to the school’s fierce rivalry.
Despite the respect between the two schools, Regis varsity baseball head coach Matt Darr believes that a rival is a rival, and playing against each other isn’t just another game.
“It’s always very special playing against our rival teams,” Darr said. “It means a little bit more, especially the lead and build up to the game.”
Cregis, the combined Creek and Regis baseball team in the fall, offers an opportunity for both Regis and Creek baseball players. Training together adds another level of competition, but also respect, between the two schools.
“If anything, [competing] means that much more to the players because they have [already] played together,” Darr said. “I do think, however, that there is a very high level of respect between the teams, coaches, and players alike.”
Sam Morton, a Regis junior that is playing varsity baseball this spring, knows multiple Creek athletes, some he considers very close friends. “Many of us play together, train together, and play against each other year round,” Morton said. “The rivalry between Creek and Regis means extra this year because off the field so many of us are friends and the side that loses will hear it for the rest of the year.”
Similarly, Carlson “Bubba” Tann, a varsity football player at Creek, says, “There was extra energy, especially in practice, because we knew that their team was stronger than most teams we would play.”
Creek girls’ swim and dive head coach Karin Olmsted makes sure her swimmers have good sportsmanship, despite the strong competition against Regis.
“I told the team, we’re gonna respect them by giving them our best,” Olmsted said.
Olmsted also attributes the clash between Regis and Creek to the success of the two schools, which are both recognized as having some of the best athletic programs in the division.
“The saying is, ‘we ‘always have a target on our back,’ we’re Cherry Creek High School, people love to hate us,” Olmsted said. “We have to carry ourselves with more respect.”
Even between coaches, a sense of competition between the two schools is easily recognizable, and can be based on the proximity between the two schools.
“I think what’s hard is as coaches, [is that the rivalry] runs deep with all sports, not just swimming. We have people who live in our district that go to Regis, it’s a bitter taste when you know they live down the street from one of your other kids on the team and they could’ve been going here,” Olmsted said.
Similar to Olmsted, Creek Athletic Director Jason Wilkins agrees students in the two schools having a prior friendship or relationship adds to the rivalry.
“When the kids already know each other, sometimes that increases the rivalry component,” Wilkins said.
Not only existing relationships, but the frequency of playing Regis can feed the rivalry, both between players and coaches.
“[Regis plays well] in a lot of games, so we see them in the playoffs. No matter who you play in the playoffs, it makes the rivalry component increase even more,” Wilkins said.
Despite the rivalry, most coaches believe that the rivalry can be a healthy advantage, if players use it as a way to improve their gameplay.
“We just have to focus on the things that we do, and focus on what makes our team good,” Olmsted said. “Not worry so much about what [Regis is] doing or what they’re not doing.”