Rivalry takes lyrical turn


Petersen and Harman stand their ground against Great Bend

Crowds roar both in excitement and disappointment. On one side of the stadium, the substantial set of bleachers seems a sea of black. Across the field, the more petite guest-side stand is packed to its capacity, and the students don all-white apparel.

Fans cheer until their voices crack. They chant, yell and scream until they turn red under their face paint in support of their school.

This scene is familiar to games between the Indians and their long-standing rival, the Great Bend Panthers. But this year, the rivalry took an unexpected, lyrical turn.

Sophomore Cody Petersen and junior Dawson Harman took to the popular music platform, SoundCloud, last Wednesday to produce a rap in support of the football team in their upcoming game against Great Bend. Harman then linked to their song through his Twitter page, gaining support in the form of retweets and favorites from his classmates.

Both Petersen and Harman intended to encourage their fellow student-athletes and have an enjoyable time producing their 45-second song.

“I’m not a rapper,” Petersen said. “We both love music and thought it would be fun.”

Since they meant for their rap to be received comically, Petersen and Harman were surprised when they found that students from Great Bend discovered and reacted to the song with much dissention. Great Bend students, athletes and even parents joined in.

Tweets from Great Bend supporters took offense to the rap and many poked fun at it.

“We didn’t think it would get the reaction it did,” Petersen said. “We didn’t intend the rap to be towards them.”

A new level of rivalry between the schools was reached when a Great Bend student released a “diss track” geared toward Hays the following evening.

Their response song was nearly four times the length of Petersen and Harman’s original and featured higher level musical production elements.

“I think their clap-back was decent,” Petersen said. “I mean it has a pretty nice beat, but we weren’t expecting a diss track back. They were serious and we weren’t.”

Regardless of the outcome, these recent developments make it clear that social media and technology have permanently altered the face of high school rivalries from here on out.

Overall, Harman and Petersen remain unaffected by the drama their rap is currently enshrouded by, and plan to continue to post new material on SoundCloud.

“They took this way too far,” Petersen said. “Stay woke on new releases.”