High school rivals team up off the field for teacher appreciation

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 8:53 PM EDT
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Monday, May 4, 2020

News 12 at 11 o'clock/NBC at 12

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- When you think of the Academy of Richmond County and Westside High School, it's hard not to think of the in-town rivalry between the two schools. But now those rivals are joining forces to help out their teachers during teacher appreciation week.

"This was just an opportunity to give back to our teachers, and at the same time, it's an opportunity for the community to help," William Smith, Westside High School principal, said.

The two schools have joined the "Give-A-Shirt" campaign and partnered with the company that designs the shirt---ShowPony ---to help recognize and fundraise for their teachers.

"So we got two goals. Number one is to beat Westside, and then number two is, we'd like to be the best selling "We-Give-A-Shirt" shirt in the history of the campaign, so our goal is 404 shirts," Jason Medlin, Academy of Richmond County (ARC) principal, said.

Sports Center on Broad Street held the previous record with 403 shirts. And Medlin believes they can sell 404.

Even though they're competitors, the principals joined forces as a way to think outside of the box. Neither has been in charge for more than two years, but both have fully embraced the rival role.

"But at the end of the day, Westside is the best side," Smith said.

"And that's even why we're at a neutral site now -- because of the competition we've got with the t-shirts," Medlin said.

Competition can bring out the best in people, though it can also bring back some not so fond memories for alumni -- 20 years later.

"I missed a penalty kick that lost us the region championship! Not that I think about it every day or anything, but this gives all my Muskies a chance to end my 20-year nightmare and beat the Patriots," Daniel Stewart, Academy of Richmond County class of '01, said.

Local businesses have had success in the campaign. ARC and Westside are the first schools to join the movement and have already sold over 100 shirts each.

Shirts are available​ online for $20 each. ShowPony splits the cost with schools 50-50.

Both ARC and Westside have already sold enough to cover the cost of the shirts, so the rest of the money from the shirt sales goes towards luncheons and other thank you's for each school's teaching staffs.

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