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History of the BHS vs. O’Dowd Rivalry

It’s a known fact that Berkeley High School (BHS) and Bishop O’Dowd have a rivalry. It’s seen in the way the girls soccer team warms up with the utmost focus. Or in the way the boys basketball team plays them with an unimaginable intensity, sweat dripping down their faces. There have even been songs made by BHS students ridiculing O’Dowd, always with the same message: Berkeley does not like, and will not ever get along with O’Dowd.

However, it wasn’t always this way. Carlin Hudson, who graduated from BHS in 2014 and was a captain of the varsity girls soccer team her junior and senior year, explains that the rivalry between BHS and O’Dowd didn’t start until her junior year. “We used to be in a different league, where Alameda High School was our only competition,” Hudson said. “We had won the league for the past twelve years or so. So my junior year, we changed leagues into the WACC-Foothill and the WACC-Shoreline leagues,” she said.

Little did BHS know, this switch in leagues would lead to BHS’s biggest sports rivalry ever. O’Dowd, much like today, was strong in sports and was good competition for Berkeley’s teams, making the league title a much more competitive and acclaimed achievement.

Much of the motivation for BHS teams wanting to beat O’Dowd — and winning league — is due to the fact that many BHS and O’Dowd athletes play club sports during the offseason together. This means that winning league in high school season brings a year’s worth of bragging rights back at club, according to Hudson.

BHS never seems to let anyone forget their contempt towards O’Dowd. Even if an athlete doesn’t know players on the opposing team, athletes at BHS are motivated to beat O’Dowd out of the prolonged rivalry between the two teams.

BHS and Bishop O’Dowd will continue to fight for the league title across the board in sports. Year after year the winner of the games will change, but you can always count on exciting energy and matches between the two schools.