Franklin vs Cleveland: a History

If this were the colonial days, Benjamin Franklin and Grover Cleveland would be best friends due to their complementing political and social values. However it is 2021, and now Franklin and Cleveland as we know it are in constant competition on the pitch. While nobody knows how or when this rivalry originated, both teams are in an ongoing feud, and students arguably consider the game between the two the most important of the season. Why the most important? Aside from the social media boasting, the teams have the chance to compete for the “Southeast Cup”(the annual regular season game between Franklin and Cleveland). As there are only two PIL teams in southeast Portland, being the kings of the area is number 1 on the two teams’ agendas. This competition puts a lot of responsibility and pressure on our players. “Playing Cleveland is always a fight. It feels more personal and more significant than just a soccer game,” says Caden Davis, a four time Franklin varsity soccer player. “The stakes are high, so everyone gives it one-hundred percent, and it’s usually a dirty game. Tempers are always tested, and bad mouthing is often present,” he states. The stakes were really 100% in our 2019 playoff game against Cleveland. After winning all the preliminary matches, the two beasts had a heated face-off in the semi-finals. Despite their best attempts, Franklin brought it home with a 2-1 win thanks to upperclassman Adam Moar, our backup goalkeeper, who managed to score the final goal to send us through. Despite the game being over, excited and enraged fans took to social media either boasting or expressing their anger at such an impactful loss. The hate didn’t matter in the long run when our Lightning went on to bring home the 2019 6A State Champion title. Shortly after this, Corona vacation happened, and with many things being shut down, the teams were training for the clash we saw earlier this year. As you may know we lost the Southeast cup, but as they say, you win some, you lose some, and that just makes a good rivalry. While we may not ever know who is the better team, we sure love when the Warriors get struck by our Franklin Lightning!

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