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The LEAP Student Blog

"The Golden Throne" by Maggie Ogden, Clarkston HS
 10/19/2021 12:00:00 AM

Maggie Ogden
Clarkston High School, Class of 2022

It is the day we have all been waiting for...Golden Throne 2019. Warmups are about to start and I am in the hallway outside the gym with my team. We are huddled in a circle with arms wrapped around each other. There is muffled cheering in the distance and the floor beneath us is shaking from the bass of the music. I make eye contact with my senior captain in the huddle. I think she can sense my anxiety, but instead of soothing my nerves she looks me straight in the eyes and says, “Maggie when we run out there, whatever you do don’t look up.” I follow her advice and keep my Freshman eyes peeled to the court, focusing on the game, and trying to drown out the roar of the crowd. When the third quarter rolls around, I finally look up at the enormous sea of red and black. The gym is standing room only. Our student section is full, the parents are all wearing matching shirts, and there are little kids holding up signs with our names on them. Our audience maxed out the gym with 3,500 people. Goosebumps run down my arms as I take in the magic of the Golden Throne game.

One January night a year, our community packs the Lewis and Clark State College’s Activity Center for the best rivalry game of the year. There is a choreographed dance competition, incognito spirit judges walking around to tally up spirit points, organized cheers, loud music, and if you look really closely, two high school basketball games. Although these games draw the crowd, they have no bearing on the ultimate champion; the winner of the Golden Throne. The Golden Throne is a spray-painted gold toilet that reeks of victory. Whichever school brings the most spirit gets to take home the throne for a blissful year of bragging rights, until the next year’s game determines the new winner.  

However, The Golden Throne rivalry game has evolved from what it once was. Up until the 90’s there was an ever growing issue with sportsmanship. Although our valley is only separated by a river, our two schools could not have been more far apart. Seemingly normal things now like making a friend at another school would have been taboo back then. Our rival is the Lewiston Bengal which is a big spotted cat. Clarkston Alumni will be the first to tell you that when they were in high school it was not uncommon to drive across the river and see dead cats hanging off the bridge. This is just an example of one of the many unsportsmanlike acts that took place. The valley knew things were getting out of control and there was a dire need for positive reform. This is when Sam Adams, Kay Anderson, and Len Kelly formed the idea of a rivalry game. It started off as simply a girls/boys basketball game with some decorations and a spirit judge, and ended up growing so big it needed to be moved out of the high school gym. In the next few years, they started raising money for charity. All the proceeds from this huge game go to local foundations. Now The Golden Throne is a uniting tradition that has brought spirit and sportsmanship to a once-spiteful rivalry. 
This rivalry game is monumental for varsity basketball players at CHS and LHS. It’s likely that The Golden Throne will be the biggest audience in front of which we will ever play, not to mention the extraordinary atmosphere created by the energy and positive spirit of our community. Everyone has different memories of what the Golden Throne means to them, but at the end of the day, it is an unforgettable experience that brings our valley together.

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October 2021

10/19/2021 "The Golden Throne" by Maggie Ogden, Clarkston HS

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association  |   435 Main Ave S   |  Renton, WA 98057  |  (425) 687-8585  |  © 2022