TWIN FALLS — Bo Petterson and Sydney Lee traded jabs at each other about their respective schools Thursday afternoon. Lee, who plays golf forTwin FallsHigh School, highlighted the Bruins’ academic reputation and athletic prowess.
“Twin is always better, so we don’t even worry about them,” she said.
Petterson, a junior baseball player for Kimberly, defended his Bulldogs.
“Well, you guys are in a different division so it doesn’t even matter,” he said. “Our school is more laid back, but we still learn the same stuff. Plus, we have a great agriculture and shop program.”
Petterson, sporting brown dreadlocks that fall in his face and Lee, with her Chacos sandals and bright disposition, make a light-hearted couple that doesn’t care about their Twin Falls-Kimberly hook up — despite the smack talk back and forth.
“It really isn’t that big a deal,” Lee said. “A lot of the Twin girls seem to like the Kimberly boys.”
Lee and Petterson, who have dated for a year and a half, are actually more likely to debate whose sport is harder than argue about their high schools.
“She thinks that golf is harder than baseball. I tell her that baseball is more than hitting a ball and going to get it,” Petterson said to a disgruntled Lee. “I don’t think we’ll ever settle that debate.”
Clearly comfortable in their own skin, Petterson and Lee are one of several athlete couples who have dipped into school colors other than their own.
High school dating is a fickle subject. Students run in tight circles. Bring a date to prom — from a rival school no less — and you’re likely to feel eyes on you throughout the night.
Up north inBlaineandLincolnCounties, dating an athlete from another school is almost common practice — it may be out of necessity.CareyHigh School’s graduating class this year is 17.Richfield’s is 12.
“It happens quite often actually. If we don’t have a girl in Carey, we go toRichfield,” said Carey senior Chance Chavez.
The three-sport athlete dates star runner and basketball player Sasha Kent. They’ve been together for a year and have known each other most their lives afterKentmoved from Mountain Home in the second grade.
Chavez said his friends like havingKenthang out in his group andKenteven got Chavez a Richfield T-shirt, which he proudly wore as he watched his girlfriend this season.
“I couldn’t wear that thing in Carey. That would upset some people for sure,” Chavez said.
In March,Kentfaced an awkward situation at the Class 1A Division II state basketball tournament.
Her brother, Stevie, was a freshman at Dietrich, which was searching for its first state trophy since 1966. Carey was aiming for a state championship repeat.
Kentand the Blue Devils beat Sho-Ban in the first round, while Chavez and Carey beat Kootenai, setting up a semifinals matchup between the rival schools.
“People were like, ‘Who are you going to cheer for?’”Kentsaid.
She chose the boyfriend.
WithKentsupporting Chavez and Carey in the stands, the Panthers stormed back from a seven-point deficit with 4 minutes, 22 seconds remaining to break the hearts of Dietrich in a 38-36 win, advancing them to the title game.
“It was a tough day. Carey made it to the championship that day after beating Dietrich and I felt bad. I really did,”Kentsaid. “They had a great season and I was proud of my brother.”
While Carey and Dietrich are bitter rivals, Twin Falls-Jerome is a whole different level. Every year you have theBattleof the Bridge on the gridiron. During the winter the past few seasons, the stands have been packed for games between the Great Basin Conference’s top two teams.
Twin Fallssenior Eric Harr has dated Jerome senior Haylee Burnham for about two months. They went to each other’s proms on back-to-back weekends earlier this month and constantly receive grief from fellow students. And both play basketball.
“I’ve know him for a while because of basketball and I think the whole rivalry thing kept us apart,” Burnham said.
“People will ask where I’m going to sit at the games — theTwin Fallssection or the Jerome section,” Burnham said. “Of course I’m going to cheer for Jerome. I’ll just secretly cheer for Eric though.”
Unlike Chavez, Burnham doesn’t sport anyTwin Fallsblue when she’s secretly cheering for Harr.
“Oh, no way. You’ll never see me in Twin gear,” Burnham said. “I love Jerome. I love where I’m at. I’m always going to be a Tiger.”