Analysis: The Anvil Game is coming back… but not soon enough


Cade Palmer, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Cade Palmer- The Anvil sits outside of the Gym in the Athletic Hallway at Rangeview High School; The Anvil sits waiting for the winning team to grab it and celebrate with it.

The Rangeview High School sports teams have had a rivalry with Gateway High School since RHS opened in 1982 and brought half of Gateway’s students south and east to open the district’s new school. This rivalry has always received tremendous support from fans, and it has been one of the state’s best high school rivalries. It would be an understatement to say many RHS students were disappointed to hear last spring that we would not play Gateway in football for the first time this year. 

But there is hope. 

Mr. Strouse, Rangeview’s athletic director and the person ultimately in charge of the football schedule, said, “There’s a real possibility [to bring the game back]. The plan is to return to The Anvil  Game after the next two-year cycle.”

The Anvil itself currently sits right outside the main gym at Rangeview, and it will for at least one more year since we won’t play Gateway until 2020 at the earliest, according to Strouse.

The football season for Rangeview just ended. They finished with a 1-9 overall record for the season. Gateway also went 1-9 in their football season. One of the reasons Gateway wasn’t on Rangeview’s schedule this year was because Gateway got moved down to the 4A league, while Rangeview stayed in 5A.

Rangeview chose to play Thunder Ridge for its one out of conference game for this year, rather than playing Gateway. Thunder Ridge is currently the 8th seed in the high school playoffs.

The 2015 Rangeview football team celebrates after winning The Anvil Game against Gateway. Rangeview won The Anvil Game for three years . (Sebastian Wiegand) 

It would have been worse for Rangeview’s state ranking if they would’ve played Gateway instead of Thunder Ridge, but it ended up not making a difference as Rangeview was not even in the running for a playoff spot with its 1-9 record.

Former Rangeview wide receiver and defensive back who now plays football for the University of South Dakota, Elijah Reed, gave his thoughts on the loss of The Anvil Game.

“I think The Anvil Game should be brought back,” Reed said. “Words can’t explain the importance of the rivalry game between Rangeview and Gateway. The student body from both sides is just as, if not more passionate, than the players playing in the game. I feel that the game itself brings the community together and should definitely be brought back.”

That emotion is something many people want to bring back as soon as possible here at Rangeview.

Former Rangeview assistant football coach and current Gateway assistant football coach JC Clyatt was asked about what the game meant to the teams playing, and whether it should be brought back.

“The Anvil Game is a staple of Aurora, full of history and pride for everyone involved, from young to old; everyone cares about the game,” said Coach Clyatt. “Gateway never wanted to get rid of The Anvil Game. Rangeview felt that it wasn’t worth their time. So yes, we want The Anvil Game back. It means everything to every player on both sides involved.”

There are many others like Coach Clyatt who are very passionate about the game. Many people like him want the excitement of the game to come back.

Former First Team All-State quarterback and 2013 Colorado Gatorade Football Player of the Year Jaleel Awini had a lot of experience playing in different Anvil Games. He played at Air Force and Colorado University. He gave his opinion about bringing back The Anvil Game.

Awini said, “I wish they would bring the Anvil game back! I think rivalries produce some of the most memorable moments. Whether they were good memories about games, I still talk to my former teammates about to this day, or bad memories that we used to motivate us.”

Awini looked back on some of his favorite Anvil Game moments of the past.

The Raiders lining up on offense to go at the Angel’s defense. (Cade Palmer)

“I remember losing to Gateway in a thriller during my sophomore year. It was such a painful loss, and it was a feeling I never wanted to feel again,” said Awini. “Of course, you want to win every game, but in my junior and senior years, we made an emphasis to beat them because the trophy not only means a lot to the players but also to the school,”

“A lot of students from Gateway and Rangeview know each other from middle school or just simply growing up with each other. Although maybe friends… it’s always nice to have bragging rights for the year!”

That sense of rivalry and pride were some of Awini’s main reasons for loving the game.

Awini continued, “The Anvil was important to me because it created sense and pride when you won it. You had bragging rights over friends and sometimes over family.”

The football schedule for next year is already set; it cannot be changed. Many don’t want to miss out on The Anvil Game anymore, not to mention that the schools can make a lot of money on the game since it has been a very popular event. Let’s bring back The Anvil Game. Two years away is two years too long to wait.