The Bell Game is without question the most anticipated football game of the year. The rival match against El Dorado never fails to unite all the students of Valencia, from freshman to senior, under one common goal — win that Bell. However, a rivalry this intense is never complete without a spirit week and pep rally to hype its students into a frenzy.
The true Bell Game experience starts Monday before the Friday night game with spirit week. During spirit week, the students of Valencia come together to show their support by wearing outfits that correspond with that day’s theme. The themes for Monday through Wednesday change every year, but their purpose is always the same: to rally the whole school together. Thursday and Friday’s themes, however, are timeless, having been a part of tiger tradition for decades. Thursday is Nerdy Hawk Day, a day in which students dress up as jovial “nerdy” caricatures of their El Dorado counterparts. After Monday through Thursday’s comedic themes, Friday sees a return to classic blue and gold, prompting students to sport their “Eat more chicken” t-shirts among other tiger gear. Historically, spirit week’s Blue and Gold Friday has been the most successful in bringing the school together under the same creed: beat El Dorado.
Another fundamental aspect of the Bell Game experience is the assembly that takes place on the day of the game. While this assembly doubles as our fall assembly, it serves to excite the student body for the true spectacle later that night. In support of the football team and tiger morale, cheer and dance teams perform their routines for the whole school to enjoy. The ASB also hosts games, relying on audience participation as a way to energize students and further unite us against El Dorado. As retribution for El Dorado’s consumption of Frosted Flakes, ASB gave students the opportunity to devour spicy chicken wings as quickly as possible during the assembly, a clear foreshadowing of the night to follow. The assembly concluded with Assistant Principal, Mr. Jeff Louie, as he left students with the resounding message that we’ll keep the bell.
Finally, the pinnacle of the Bell Game experience, the Bell Game. Long before the game even began, the stands were flooded with students, alumni, and faculty. Nobody wanted to miss this legendary match. Throughout the night, tigers alike felt the same pain as the players for every incomplete pass or fumble. Conversely, interceptions and touchdowns inspired the crowds as they erupted at every small victory. With every close play, each side was sure to make their feelings heard. As the game progressed, everyone inched closer to the edge of their seats. Throughout the majority of the game, our tigers maintained a close lead of seven points, meaning there was never a moment without suspense. With the final seconds ticking nearer and Valencia ahead by a mere touchdown, the tiger den began to roar louder and louder until the clock hit 0. Perhaps the roar heard across the world, the tiger den let out a final victory shout as the scoreboard declared Valencia victor. The team shook hands with the defeated Hawks, only to then rush over to the Bell and proudly ring it. As the Bell was lifted onto the shoulders of the football team, the Alma Mater rang out from the tiger den while Valencia sang in unison. A sweet end to a night full of struggle and triumph, tigers rested easy as our team wheeled the Bell off the field, signaling an end to Bell Game experience.