Tom "Sky" Skibosh covers the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and New Berlin prep scene for Community Newspapers. If something is going on in local sports, Sky has an opinion about it. If you agree or not with what Sky says, we want to see your comments.
With Brookfield Central traveling over to Brookfield East for a basketball doubleheader on Friday, Dec. 14 - the girls at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m., I figured now would be a good time to bring up something that's been on my mind since I've been covering Brookfield and Wauwatosa the past six years.
Cross-town rivalries in these two cities are really different.
In Brookfield, depending on the sport, there are times that Central is better than East and vice versa. There have been some great battles, especially in swimming, soccer, tennis and track - just to name a few. There never seems to be an attitude that one school is better than the other - only the typical pride if you are a graduate of one school or if your kids are students there.
I'm protected in Brookfield, because I am a Central graduate, but I sent four kids through East. I can't favor anyone. Of course, I wouldn't do that because I am a professional journalist.
I also notice in Brookfield that the rivalry is fairly friendly, more so from the athletes angle since they play together in the off-season in their various sports.
In Wauwatosa I've run into a whole different animal. There is a different feeling between Tosa East and Tosa West when it comes to cross-town rivalries. Without a doubt, the Red Raiders feel that they would have nothing to gain by playing the Trojans in some sports.
I have had some people from Tosa East come out and say that Marquette, not West, is the Red Raiders main rival - and since they play in the same conference, I don't disagree with them at all.
Like in Brookfield, the Tosa athletes know each other from their off-season competition and social gatherings and they probably enjoy it more than the coaches.
On West's side of it, I've had administrators and coaches say they understand East's side of it and they also feel it's more important to their teams to focus on their Woodland Conference rivals.
That's why when I see Tosa East basketball - one of the best programs in the area - play Tosa West - something George Haas and Brian Rusk brought back - it gives me a good feeling. When they packed the gym last year, with students standing and people cheering, for a good two hours - that's what I think a cross-town game should be all about - fun.
There is a place for good competition between Tosa East and Tosa West, but unlike in Brookfield, there is less riding on the bottom line, simply because it's a non-conference event. It's hard to be a true rival when you don't play in the same conference in my opinion.
Whether you agree or disagree, let me hear from you.
And remember, always, be a hit and have a ball.