15th annual Crosstown Showdown

Falcons and Highlanders go head to head


Jenny Kim and Erielle Ocampo

After a long night at Oakland University’s O’rena on Feb. 4, the Rochester Girls Varsity Basketball Team had a clean sweep against Adams, with the final score of 48 – 25; and the Boys Varsity Team took a tough loss, ending with 61 – 41.

Crosstown Showdown has been a long tradition between the Rochester Falcons, Adams Highlanders, and Stoney Creek Cougars, going into their 15th year. This year, the game was between Rochester and Adams; and the student sections of both schools radiated school spirit, wearing royal blue and gold, showing the clear division of rivalry.

A lot of preparation is needed to host this event, especially since it is not at either of the high school buildings. The group of administrators work together to make it an enjoyable time for everyone.

“The biggest thing is trying to coordinate what we do between Adams and Rochester,” RHS principal Mr. Wrinkle said. “Bringing and making sure the marching band is there for that, dance team, cheer team, and all the basketball teams. It’s harder to coordinate all that so it takes a little bit longer [to prepare].”

The bleachers at the O’rena were packed with students, parents, alumni, and many other spectators. Both student sections made sure to keep the energy flowing in the uplifting environment. The Rochester High School student section, Soldiers of Fortune, also known as SOF, makes some preparations in order to keep the spirits moving.

“All of us go to Tyler’s [house] three hours before,” senior Chirag Mishra said. “[We get to] the school parking lot [early] so we get a good spot.”

In addition, they listen to music to keep their adrenaline rolling before the start of the event. With the SOF’s lead, the rest of the student body follows them, but not only do they help keep the student section alive, they also prepare our games.

“We make the themes [for the games] and the chants to get the crowd going,” senior Kenneth Barnett said.

They create unforgettable moments for everyone to enjoy and spend time with one another. The SOF boys love what they do. Their enthusiasm to be able to lead the whole school really shows their Rochester pride.

“It feels amazing being able to present our energy and help other people step outside of their comfort zone,” senior Shane Arbour said.

To add more excitement to this event and make it a memorable experience for all attendees, the admins incorporated t-shirt cannons, pom-poms, and big head cutouts of the players.

“We’re always looking to try to add different things that mimic a college student section,” Mr. Wrinkle said. “That’s the big thing we want to do for you guys here, to make sure that it is an inviting place for all Falcons to go, but there’s also something new every time you’re there, or a different experience that the other schools don’t offer.”


The Girls Team stole the spotlight on the court while playing against Adams, winning by almost double the score, 48-25.

“The girls did a great job,” Varsity Coach Thurston said. “They were energetic from the moment we all got on the bus to come over to OU.”

After countless practices with the main focus on the offense line, the two first-year freshmen players paid off their hard work, both scoring double digits during their time on court.

“We wanted to get Kiely Robinson and Alice Max the basketball in the paint,” Coach Thurston said.

The defense line also worked together to show proficient plays, holding back the opposing team’s offensive players.

“We always work on our defense,” Coach Thurston said. “Defense is what the girls really take pride in. We held Adams to eight points in the second half of the game.”

The team is showing off their skills this season, with a record of 12-22; and are undefeated in the OAA White title.

“We are off to one of the best starts since the 2008 season,” Coach Thurston said. “This is also the first time we swept Adams since the 2008 season. We have won 10 straight games.”

Every game encourages the players to do even better in the next game. After making it to the District finals the last two seasons, the team hopes to achieve bigger this year.

“Our goal is to win our League and bring home at least a district championship,” Coach Thurston said.

The enthusiasm from the SOF and the cheer team boosts the players’ motivation.

“When they are at the games, the girls notice; and their intensity picks up when the SOF is going crazy,” Coach Thurston said.

This season will specifically be a memorable one for all the girls, as the successful season slowly comes to an end.

“As a coach and especially for the players, we are not looking forward to the season ending,” Coach Thurston said. 

The team is heading to districts on Mar. 4, in hopes to bring home a championship.

“This is a special group of girls who work hard, want to win, and enjoy being around each other on and off the basketball court,” Coach Thurston said. “We set our goals high and right now, we are on pace to reach them.”



The Rochester Boys Varsity Basketball Team got defeated by the Highlanders, 61-41. It was an intense game with an equal amount of effort on both sides. Although the Falcons lost, the team was still optimistic about their season and how to improve for next time.

“The game allowed us to reflect and look at some areas that we need to improve on,” Coach Evola said. “As a team, we have raised our level of play in practice and we have had more of a sense of urgency. It has been very competitive and fun.”

Playing a sport with a very heavy influence on team communication is very important when working together. From practices to outside team bonding, the boys have shown growth throughout the span of a few months.

“We are having a good season so far,” Coach Evola said. “There are a few games we wish we could have back, but the amount of growth we have had since day one has been really good. I think we have a great group of guys, and the coaches are having a lot of fun getting in the gym and working with the team daily.”

The team appreciates the support from the falcon student section as they play throughout the game.

“‘We love the support from the student section, cheer and dance teams, and the band.  They bring great energy to the gym and make it a fun environment to play in,” Coach Evola said. 

With a few more games before the boys go off to districts on Mar. 7, the team is working hard and anticipating the big day.

“Every team makes the State Tournament in basketball,” Coach Evola said. “We are working towards improving our record to try to earn a bye (this is where they advance to the next round without competing) in the first round.  We have a tough, but winnable district.  We are excited to keep working toward our goal of winning a District Championship.”

The outcome of this game created a window of opportunity for the team, we can’t wait to see how the rest of the season goes.