The definitive list of Granville’s biggest sports rivals

The+definitive+list+of+Granvilles+biggest+sports+rivals

Andrew Hoben

BY ANDY HOBEN (‘20)

Over the course of the over 100 years playing sports, with many of them being a part of the Licking County League (LCL), Granville athletics have developed many intense rivalries with nearby schools. With the tradition of success and support that Granville and other schools in the county have developed, competition between the teams in a variety of sports has escalated and even become heated at times. However, not all rivalries are created equal; in fact, rivalries and their varying magnitude can be rated based on a variety of factors.

In order to rank the intensity of each rivalry that Granville is a part in, I have used a 1-5 scale on 5 different factors to grade each school in the LCL. These factors are historical rivalry, recent rivalry, opponent attitude/lack of sportsmanship, parent/student section disrespectfulness and variety of sports in which the teams play competitive contests, with a score of 1 being least indicative of a rivalry and a 5 being the most intense magnitude rivalry. The higher the total score of the 5 categories, the bigger the rival. I have listed the 5 biggest rivals for Granville sports based on this scoring system, and included a brief description of why that score was earned.


  1. Watkins Memorial

Historical: 3

Watkins was an original member of the LCL and an original foe of the Blue Aces; however, they did not join Granville in the Mid-State League in the time between the early 1990’s and early 2010’s, meaning they did not play each other yearly for over 20 years.

Recent: 3

Though Watkins, being in Granville’s division of the LCL, has been competitive in recent years in a few seasons of certain sports, the recent rivalry is not particularly intense.

Opponent attitude: 4

Watkins players are known to wear their emotions on their sleeves and have a penchant for getting personal fouls or penalties in the sports they compete in.

Fan disrespectfulness: 3

Watkins always brings out a good sized student section and contests within the confines of their gym are known to become testy because of their home fans.

Sport Variety: 3

Watkins is nearly always a league contender in the sports that they do compete in, including soccer, track, basketball, football, volleyball and baseball. However, they lack consistent competitiveness in some other sports, and can be near the bottom of the league at times, like recently in football, which detracts from the fullness of a rivalry.

TOTAL SCORE: 16


  1. Licking Heights

Historical: 2

Licking Heights did not follow the likes of Granville, Newark Catholic and Licking Valley to the MSL-Ohio , so, similarly to Watkins, did not regularly play Granville for a good part of their sports history.

Recent: 4

Licking Heights has had some very competitive teams as of late in some high-attendance sports such as football and basketball, and even when their teams do not necessarily have a good win-loss record, they come ready to beat their rivals.

Opponent attitude: 5

Licking Heights players have been known to be rowdy and tough, both based on personal experience and in the spectating of other sports. Heights athletes have a certain chip on their shoulder that can turn any game into a dog-fight.

Fan disrespectfulness: 4

Heights fans have been known to cause chaos in the stands, sometimes enough to garner ejections, which have become a frequent sight in Granville v. Heights basketball matchups. With their growing enrollment numbers and finite gym space, their student section can cause a ruckus, too.

Sport Variety: 2

Out of all the teams on the list, Licking Heights has the least number of teams that are actually competitive in the sports they play, and a true rivalry contains not only animosity between schools, but a good on-field product.

TOTAL SCORE: 17


  1. Johnstown

Historical: 4

Granville has has a continuous rivalry with Johnstown for most of their history, even after the split of the LCL. They also are frequently in the same playoff bracket in sports such as basketball, meaning this rivalry often extends past the regular season.

Recent: 4

Johnstown has fielded competitive teams in nearly all of the sports in recent years, and though they are technically in the other division of the LCL, the yearly or twice-yearly Granville v. Johnstown matchup has become one of the best in the league each season.  

Opponent attitude: 4

Johnstown players are known to be hard-nosed and boisterous, specifically their football team, who have frequently used the #JohnniesNeverLose and #JohnnieTooHottie hashtags on their posts, showing their cocky nature, especially since they did indeed go on to lose to the Blue Aces.

Fan disrespectfulness: 3

Johnstown fans in general are not known to be “disrespectful” per say, but their student section can get rowdy at times.

Sport Variety: 4

Johnstown produces some of the strongest squads in the league across many sports, making each battle with Granville a hotly contested match no matter what field, court, or track is being played on.

TOTAL SCORE: 19


  1. Newark Catholic

Historical: 5

Newark Catholic was in the original LCL and also joined the MSL-Ohio with Granville when the league dissolved, which ensured that the hatred between the small private and public schools would continue.

Recent: 3

Though Newark Catholic has a history of success in nearly every sport, however, they have gone through rough patches in many sports as of late, reducing the rivalry to a mere idealistic grudge than an actual meaningful competition.

Opponent attitude: 5

Newark Catholic players have been known to be haughty and intense, nearly guaranteeing that any game against them will become “chippy”. Granville and Newark Catholic players generally continue their feuds off-the-field, and friendships between athletes of the two schools are few and far between.

Fan disrespectfulness: 4

Newark Catholic has arguably the smallest and most packed gym in the league, making it feel as though their loud fans and obnoxious student section, sometimes referred to as the “Tool Shed”, is directly on top of the court. This affects indoor sports such as basketball and volleyball- however, in any sport in which Catholic is involved, a large fan presence will be apparent.

Sport Variety: 3

In recent years, with the competitiveness of matches against Newark Catholic declining, the variety of sports in which the rivalry is truly alive is not up to par with some other schools in the area or the historical Granville- Catholic matchup.

TOTAL SCORE: 20


  1. Licking Valley

Historical: 5

The Licking Valley v. Granville rivalry has gone on continuously for years, as Valley, like Catholic, followed Granville into the MSL from the LCL and back into the LCL in the 2010’s.

Recent: 5

Licking Valley and Granville have had as intense a rivalry as ever in recent years, with many of their matchups deciding league championships.

Opponent attitude: 5

Licking Valley players have a penchant for starting “beef” with players both on and off the field/ court, and their prior grudges with Granville only amplifies these sentiments on gameday and in the weeks leading up to it. For example, Valley spray painted a car with statements meant to jab at the Granville football team, in particular Quarterback Cameron Crouch (they wrote #CamSucks), and then took videos of them bashing the car with a sledge hammer: the ultimate sign of disrespect.

Fan disrespectfulness: 4

Licking Valley always has a rowdy student section and their fanbase as a whole travels well to away games, making the crowd a factor any time the Panthers are playing.

Sport Variety: 4

Licking Valley, in general, fields pretty competitive teams across the board when it comes to league play, and even when they are not competitive, both sides of the rivalry get themselves jacked up to beat their biggest rival regardless of record.

TOTAL SCORE: 23