The Parkview Pantera

Battle of Five Forks: The Battle Begins

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Senior Johnny Jones proudly exhibits a paw print shaved on his chest for the annual beat-Brookwood bonfire the day before the Parkview-Brookwood game.

Senior Johnny Jones proudly exhibits a paw print shaved on his chest for the annual beat-Brookwood bonfire the day before the Parkview-Brookwood game.

Evan Long

Evan Long

Senior Johnny Jones proudly exhibits a paw print shaved on his chest for the annual beat-Brookwood bonfire the day before the Parkview-Brookwood game.

Evan Long and Sara Anderson

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The Georgia Dome explodes with cheers. Orange, blue, and white dance onto the field, while maroon and yellow sulk on their side of the stands. Parkview has just won the 5A state championship for the third time in a row, and would continue winning until 2003 creating a 46 game record-breaking winning streak. But this win was extra special; they just beat Brookwood.

This was the peal of the Parkview-Brookwood rivalry. “That was amazing,” says Parkview math teacher Mrs. Lombardi, “There was so much hype over the game.” Mrs. Lombardi as well as fellow math teacher Dr. Wagner were hired by Parkview in the early 80s and have seen the rivalry boom.

The story begins in 1977, when Gwinnett County began making plans for a new school after realizing that Parkview, built the previous year, would not be enough to accommodate the quickly growing student population of the area. The county created the Brookwood district out of chunks from the South Gwinnett and Parkview districts, and Brookwood high school opened in 1981.

“A lot of our students left Parkview and went to Brookwood,” says Dr. Wagner, “Before then our rivalry was with Berkmar since Parkview was opened to relieve crowding from them. The rivalry with Brookwood took longer to develop though.” Mrs. Lombardi says, “I don’t remember it being an instant rivalry, but after a few years it was definitely there.” Dr. Wagner agrees and adds, “Brookwood was more recent.”

The rivalry fully sprouted in 1990, possibly due to Brookwood getting their own stadium. Until then, they had been using the Big Orange Jungle and actually made it to the state finals using Parkview’s stadium as their home field.

Why are the schools rivals in the first place? Brookwood and Parkview are very comparable. Both seem to have strong sports teams and solid SAT scores. Both music programs have received high honors, and both the drama programs are top notch. Perhaps it is a sibling rivalry of constantly one-upping each other to prove once and for all which one is the best.

The rivalry lives on because people are born into it. “Now kids come through the whole sports thing from when they are young… because you have the athletic associations with Brookwood, and you have it with Parkview, and they play each other when they’re kids,” says Mrs. Lombardi. Many Parkview cluster kids grow up competing against kids in the Brookwood cluster, instilling anti-Brookwood sentiments into their minds early on.

The Parkview-Brookwood rivalry remains one of the most vicious, long standing, and competitive rivalries in the state and is featured in the Great American Rivalry Series, a national list of high school football rivalries. The competition thrives and will continue to thrive in all sports and activities between the two schools. So remember, no matter where our lives take us, we will always bleed orange and blue.

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Battle of Five Forks: The Battle Begins