Keeping the APU rivalry alive

As APU departs NAIA fans should still recognize the tension between the two schools.

Joseph DeClercq and Joseph DeClercq

At the end of the last athletics year, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the best team in baseball, Lebron James was still searching for his first NBA title and Azusa Pacific University was our biggest rival.

In June the Miami Heat rose to the top and Lebron was finally crowned king, and the Dodgers are still hungry for a playoff berth.

But what about those pesky APU Cougars? The owners of 39 NAIA titles and 109 Golden State Athletic Conference titles now call the NCAA home. Along with Point Loma Nazarene University, California Baptist University and Fresno Pacific University — all former NAIA and GSAC opponents — the Cougars will take on other NCAA Div. II schools such as Seattle Pacific University, Grand Canyon University and Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

This doesn’t change the day-to-day of Biola athletics, but it changes the tone of this campus.

New freshman don't know feeling of APU rivalry

The new freshman class doesn’t know what it is like to enter the Felix Event Center on APU’s campus to a blacked-out crowd, nor do they know what it is like to drape yourself in red, paint your face and body and cover every inch of Chase Gymnasium in hopes of witnessing what is arguably one of the greatest rivalries the NAIA has ever seen.

In four short years this school will be so far removed from our rivalry with APU that it may be all but forgotten.

It is our job — those of us who know the story — to keep the rivalry alive.

As the fall sports season opens, remember one phrase: Beat APU.

We won’t have the privilege of seeing our beloved Eagles duke it out with the hated Cougars several times a year. We won’t get to challenge them for a conference title. In fact, we may not even play in most sports. But that doesn’t mean we forget the legend.

Our rivalry with Azusa is a large part of our school’s history and is something most of us have had the pleasure to be a part of. Still, don’t prevent yourself from moving on and embracing a new rivalry, a new history. 

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