What is Rock Rivalry?
On March 18, all four classes at East Rockaway High School will take part in a time-honored tradition that has been a staple at the school since 1936.
Rock Rivalry is a friendly, intra-school competition that includes academics, sports, culminating in the creation of colorful floats, creative backdrops, and lively, funny and original skits.
Known around the school and the community as “Mr. Rock Rivalry,” teacher Nick Cimorelli has served as the Rock Rivalry coordinator for the last 21 years.
“I oversee all the classes and select the judges, who are typically alumni or former teachers who were very involved with Rock Rivalry,” Cimorelli said. “The students start think about their themes in January, and at the beginning of February is the start of six weeks of practice and building, culminating in March Entrance.”
The events kick off with the Academy Quiz Bowl, Sports Night, and a volleyball completion, which are al held at the end of February. The freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors are given points for these activities, and during Entrance are also judged on murals, refreshments stands, costumes, and a 30-minute musical skit, all related to the theme that they have chosen.
“The competition has evolved,” Cimorelli said. “Entrance has become more elaborate through the years. As current events and the population has changed, so has Rock Rivalry.”
The winning class — usually the seniors, but not always — is ceremoniously awarded the coveted Silver Cup.
“I’m honored to be part of this fine tradition for the past 21 years,” said Cimorelli. “I credit two of my predecessors, Karl DeMasi and Martin Severino, for their mentorship when I took over this role. This year, I wish each class the best of luck as they strive to win the Cup.”
Rock Rivalry continues to be a fundraiser for all of the classes, for their activities during the year.”
More than a tradition
As anyone from East Rockaway will tell you, Rock Rivalry is unlike other class competitions.