Rivals become teammates in Orillia
Published Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:18PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:58PM EDT
When the Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute merged with the Park Street Collegiate Institute this summer, the change didn't come just in the classroom.
Sporting rivals suddenly became teammates. For more than 50 years the schools have been bitter rivals.
"Tell me about it, I remember back in the day the Park Street kids would trash ODCVI and ODCVI would trash Park Street and burn out their dumpster,” says Michael McKee.
Now times have changed. The two schools are under one roof, and Park Street is closed for demolition.
"My grandson plays on the football team and he's torn. I don’t know how you link them together when you're rivals,” says Martin Wiles.
"It's actually been really good,” says Robyn Lee. “Coming into the year we didn’t really know how it would work, having played OD so many times and being opponents."
Jim Sammon is the joint high school's principal. He says there are more kids playing sports than ever before.
“Although it may now be harder to make the girls basketball team for example, we have bigger cross country teams and rugby teams, so what this does is give kids who might not have had a chance to play before a chance now. Everyone wins,” he says.
This school experiment has been an overwhelming success on the football field and basketball court. The new school opens in two years at the former site of Park Street Collegiate.