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The History of the Bearcats VS Hounds Rivalry

The Bearcat and Hound rivalry that has been ongoing for over 100 years, how it has evolved to be so competitive today

Two schools and over 4,000 students have been butting heads with each and every year for the last century.

The sports history between the two schools has led them to where they are today, an intense and lively back and forth across 23 sports, proving rivals have a cultural impact on a student’s high school experience.

The rivalry between Paso Robles and Atascadero first started in 1919 and has continued on throughout the last 104 years. “Pound the Hounds” in all sports throughout the school is a chant that has been popular since the rivalry started. In water polo, another common chant is “Drown the Hounds.” “No Pity For the Kitty,” answers back from Atascadero athletes and spectators when playing Paso Robles. These chants have added to the competitive tension in games throughout both schools.

PRHS staff members have lived through this rivalry while attending school as Bearcats or Greyhounds, and have come back to work in either school district–sometimes joining the other team. PRHS Varsity Football Head Coach Tim Alvord graduated from Atascadero High School in 1968 and now leads the varsity football team at PRHS.

In high school, Alvord was on the Atascadero Varsity Football team for one year, the baseball team for all four years, and their varsity basketball team for three years where he was able to compete against Paso Robles and witness this rivalry from a player’s perspective. While being on these different sports teams, Alvord was also able to have a first hand experience of this rivalry which has left him with memories.

In 1967, Alvord was the quarterback for the Greyhounds . Near the end of their football season that year, they were at a two and seven with their last game being against the Paso Robles Bearcats.

“All we had to do was beat them and we would have gone to CIF,” Alvord said. “Unfortunately, they rose up and beat us, which then prevented us from going to CIF that year.”

Alvord being on the Atascadero team in 1967 and facing the Paso Robles Bearcats every year in high school gave him a player perspective of their rivalry which he now continues to see as the interim head coach of the Bearcats Varsity Football team.

Alumni, English teacher, and football coach at PRHS, Matt Carroll, has also seen the history form between the Bearcats and the Hounds. Being a graduate from PRHS in 2005, he remembers events in preparation for the “Pound the Hounds” football game because it was so important to the campus.

“Coach Alvord, who runs the varsity team now, I remember him at a pep rally teaching everybody the pound the hounds chat, which was really funny,” Carroll said.

The preparation events are what have made these sports games something that both the students and staff at both schools have looked forward to for the last century.

Although the players of these sports teams are battling on the field, in the pool, or on the court, they have continued to keep the peace and be friendly towards their opponents. In 2018, there was an incident where, allegedly, Atascadero students poured gasoline on the turf at War Memorial Stadium. Due to this event, senior football players and the senior cheerleaders from both teams come together to have an annual luncheon the day before their rivalry game. This luncheon unites both schools and shows them friendship before they step onto the field and play their hearts out.

Today, students frequently attend these rivalry games for all sports and it is something that is looked forward to by staff and students alike. Girls water polo player, Ella Tobin, is able to experience this rival both in and out of the pool.

“We always know it’s going to be a competitive game, so it just makes our competitiveness go up 10 times more,” Tobin said. “We obviously always want to win, but when it’s A-Town, it drives us to get that win even more.”

The rivalry between PRHS and AHS has been ongoing for the last 104 years and continues to make new history as these rivalry games are bound to continue in the future.

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