Moore War is the nickname of one of the most contentious rivalries in high school football. It all began about 20 years ago, when Moore High School lost half its student body when Westmoore High School first opened its doors. The animosity finds an outlet once a year when the schools meet on the football field for an historically dicey four quarters.
The schools can be civil with each other, however, as witnessed by a new collaboration. The two alumni associations are setting aside differences to jointly host a 5K race to be held at the Moore High School football stadium at 8 a.m., one week before the two schools meet on the football field. The Moore War Run is a fund-raiser for both alumni associations, which will then use the money for scholarships and school supplies, and to help out underfunded student programs.
Deidre Ebrey, the director of economic development for the city of Moore and a graduate of Moore High School, said that the annual football game is one of the community's biggest nights, so race organizers hope to tap into that energy for the run.
"The Moore War is a fantastic event that has been going on since the Westmoore's inception. I was part of that last graduating class before they split Moore, so I know all about the contention between them," Ebrey said. "The schools have developed more respect for each other over the years, and the alumni associations are at a point now where we can do joint events and celebrate the rivalry, rather than at the beginning, where there was some soreness between the two schools."
The 5K run was the brainchild of race director Kelli Kinnamon, who was looking for a way to raise funds for the Westmoore Alumni Association. She expects between 150 to 200 racers for this first year, and hopes the event becomes a powerful tool to develop the alumni associations of both schools.
To complicate matters, a new addition to the rivalry showed up last year: Southmoore High School, which was left out of the organization of the run.
"Southmoore graduated their first class this past May," Kinnamon said. "We aren't doing anything to exclude them, but they don't have an alumni association yet. It took Westmoore 18 years to develop our own alumni association. We are hoping it doesn't take Southmoore that long, but it took us a long time to care, because when you just graduate high school, you just don't care."
Ebrey said she thinks Southmoore will join in over time.
"Southmoore will get there," she said. "It would be good to see a bunch of their kids, faculty and parents come out for the run."
Kinnamon said these types of events are important, because public high schools are often overlooked by their graduates.
"I don't see a lot of fund-raising efforts for public schools," Kinnamon said. "Private schools have really strong alumni associations that raise money for all kinds of things, but public schools aren't quite as good at it. We hope that this will help draw people in to help raise money for scholarships and other things really needed by public schools." "Charles Martin