After a weekend of songs, sports and spirit, the Blue Team defeated the Red Team, 49-40, in South Side High School’s 102nd annual Red and Blue competition.
The Blue Team, led by captains Katie Rosshirt and Zoe Roman, avenged last year’s loss to Red, winning its third competition in the last four years. The nearly all-female event began in 1917, at a time when girls were not allowed to play high school sports.
“It was a tough competition, and the Red team was amazing, but Blue’s hard work totally paid off,” Roman said after the victory. “I loved making memories these past six weeks.”
Rosshirt added that the Red captains, Elizabeth Preldakaj and Olivia Watterson, were friends of hers, and commended the team’s effort. “We were neck and neck,” Rosshirt said. “No one knew who would win. It was overwhelming in the best way possible. A Blue win with my best friend is the best feeling!”
The long-running tradition kicked off on March 8 with a night of singing and art. The Red Team led, 6-3, before the school welcomed an even larger audience the following day, during which the teams presented their themes — “Legally BLUE” and “The HollyRED Dream” — to the hundreds in attendance.
Both teams’ performances focused on the fair treatment of women, with Blue’s modeled after the film “Legally Blonde,” and Red’s telling the story of two actresses trying to make it in Hollywood.
“Everyone should be paid their worth!” shouted Rosshirt and Roman at the end of their Friday performance, playing characters Elle Woods, from “Legally Blonde,” and Belle Blue, respectively. Blue’s dances featured the girls dressed like Woods and the red-headed orphan from “Annie,” as well as doctors in scrubs, Katniss Everdeen, from “The Hunger Games,” and even Wonder Woman.
Blue’s setting was a courtroom, and the members were up against “Red Rock Entertainment,” which they defeated with thundering screams from their teammates in support of their mission for equality.
“It was so much fun,” said Roman, who stood out of breath after the performance on Friday with her arm around Rosshirt.
Red’s performance featured the girls dressed as flight attendants, fairies, limousine drivers, paparazzi and even Academy Awards decked out in gold. “Together we showed everyone girls can fight for fame!” Preldakaj and Watterson shouted at the end of their performance, playing actresses named Liz and Liv. The villain was John Blue, an unfair casting director in Hollywood. Overcoming Mr. Blue, Liz and Liv landed roles and won an Oscar, which was played by one of their teammates, sparking laughter and applause from South Side’s packed gym.
“It went beyond my expectations,” Preldakaj said.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better squad,” Watterson added.
Friday’s performances were followed by relay races and sports such as floor hockey. Blue took the lead, 31-15. “A lot of hard work went into this, and it paid off,” Blue Team member Harry Ludwig told the Herald at the end of the evening.
Relays and other games, such as the superstar relay and volleyball, were part of Saturday night’s grand finale. While the Red Team won most of the physical activities on the final day, Blue hung on for the overall victory.
Meghan O’Brien and Kim Pastore, directors of the competition, told the Herald that they were proud of all the girls. “They totally embodied sportsmanship and upheld it,” said O’Brien, who has helped out for the past two years.
“We are awestruck!” added Pastore, a director for one year.
“Red and Blue is a great thing for the school,” said former director Meaghan Healy, who oversaw the annual event for 20 years. “It’s not about who wins or loses. It’s about the journeys they go on with their teammates and friends.”