Reactions After Football Fights Underscore Wilde Lake’s Unfair Reputation


Blaiz Blackston

The Wilde Lake football field after the final home game that was a loss for the team.

On September 3, Wilde Lake was playing against Atholton in their first away game of the season. Students from both schools packed into the stands, buzzing with excitement. By the third quarter, Wilde Lake was down 22-0, but the game ended early after a fight broke out in Wilde Lake’s section. 

Minutes later, another fight happened in Atholton’s student section and worsened when some football players from Atholton ran into the stands. At that point, the game was postponed, and everyone was forced to leave. 

On the way out, a loud bang was heard. The sound was really a metal fence that was knocked down, according to the Howard County Police Department, but some students misinterpreted the sound as a gunshot and sprinted for safety. 

A week later, on September 9, two fights broke out at a game between Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake. Last season, Wilde Lake lost dramatically against Oakland Mills, something that continued to drive a years-long rivalry between the teams.

The fighting was stopped, but it had now been two straight weeks with fights involving Wilde Lake, and many felt that Wilde Lake was living up to its reputation as a dangerous school.

The community began to raise concerns, and unfortunately, many went to social media to voice their opinions about Wilde Lake. Some people began to speak negatively about our school, using insulting prejudices we have heard time and time again. 

I can acknowledge that in both of these games, some Wilde Lake students participated in the fighting. However, the actions of a few misguided individuals shouldn’t be reflected on the whole school.

Wilde Lake is tired of the prejudices held around our school. “If you don’t go to this school, you don’t know what goes on, so why say we’re bad?” said Sahryah Brown, a junior at Wilde Lake.  

It seems like a Howard County tradition for other schools to trash-talk Wilde Lake. Anytime Wilde Lake is in the news, someone from another school always has something to say about us.

Being a 47% Black school, more negativity is going to come towards us. I think people say these things because of racist stereotypes about the population of the school. But when something happens with a white school, it’s not talked about as much.

The actions of a few misguided individuals shouldn’t be reflected on the whole school.

Wilde Lake is not what people say. It’s a school where academics are prized, and it has many resources for students who need help. We also have a step team, Advisory, and the Peace Room, opportunities no other school has. Just because we are different doesn’t mean we deserve the reputation that we have.

I hate the fact that this great school is overshadowed by the negativity around our reputation. We shouldn’t be blamed for the fighting when both sides contribute. To fully put the blame on one or the other is unjust, especially when the finger seems to always point at Wilde Lake. 

Wilde Lake is 51 years old, and for all those years, we have been thought of as dangerous, dumb, and destructive. It’s 2022, time to put an end to negative and racist stereotypes. 

Rivalries are appropriate for sports, but they need to be left on the field.