Image courtesy of Woodrow Wilson High School

Just as the trash talk between Woodrow Wilson High School and Highland Park High School was taking an ugly turn ahead of their football game next week, the schools’ student leaders and staff turned the passion into something positive.

Rumor had it that both schools were making derogatory dad-related t-shirts in preparation for the game. Highland Park students reportedly had a “Your dad works for my dad” shirt in the works, while Woodrow was not to be outdone with a “Your daddy can’t save you now” shirt of their own.

But when new Woodrow principal Michael Moran heard about the shirts, he met with student leaders and called up the principal of Highland Park to see if they could change the direction of the rivalry. “The seniors are an awesome group of kids,” said Moran. “They just needed a little but of a nudge and direction.”

He wanted to do something that brought people together and left a positive impact, and the students and leadership of both schools jumped on board. They designed a new “Scots vs. Wildcats” shirt with both schools colors and a helmet split with each emblem. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the money for the shirts will benefit the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of victims of child abuse.

The game will feature promotional information about the advocacy center each quarter, with both school’s student body presidents presenting a check to the nonprofit at halftime.

After not playing for several years, UIL put Woodrow Wilson High School and Highland Park High School in the same district this year, pitting the two-time state champions against the East Dallas high school. If Woodrow can get the win against Mansfield Timberview and Highland Park can take care of Bryan Adams this week, they will both go into the game undefeated. The teams will play Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Highland Park High School.

There will also be an intriguing non-football competition that Friday night, as this will be the first time Woodrow Band Director Chris Evetts will return to his old employer. Before serving at Woodrow, he was an assistant band director at Highland Park, but made it his mission to build a top band program at Woodrow, which he has done with aplomb.

While Moran hopes for fierce competition on the field, he wants the students to keep the competition under the lights, and not let it bleed into off-the-field conflict. He wants the student section to be loud and proud, but also a place that positively represents the school. “We need to make sure that people know that is where it stays,” he says of the on the field battle.

Order your shirt here to show your pride and help victims of child abuse.

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