PP vs. CMS: A Small but Tough Rivalry

by Sophia Augustine ‘23

Pomona-Pitzer Sagehen mascot
Pomona-Pitzer Sagehen

Most of my friends from back home attend large state universities with flourishing and very prominent sports cultures. This means endless tailgates as well as rowdy and boisterous football/basketball/hockey games galore. I never really prioritized that avid sports culture when applying to colleges, and I think it’s fair to say that Pomona and the 5C sports culture is not like your stereotypical college sports scene. The liberal arts sports scene vs. the large university sports scene is like comparing apples to oranges, but if you are searching for a place that prioritizes academics over athletics yet still has that playful but tough and competitive rivalry amongst sports, Pomona as well as the other 5Cs could be the place for you.

The 5C sports teams are split between Pomona-Pitzer (PP) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS).  To be perfectly honest, I never attended a single football game my first-year because I did not care about football or watch it. My friends would usually casually attend after brunch and leave whenever. The only time there would be an actual “crowd” during sporting events was when there was a home match/game, and Pomona-Pitzer’s opponent was CMS. This small but competitive rivalry on campus is definitely a big part of the 5C culture, whether you play a varsity sport or not. Second semester, my friends and I fell into a nice routine of going for brunch every Saturday (Scripps for Saturday brunch and Frank for Sunday brunch, of course) and then attending one of the sporting events on campus afterwards, whether that was track & field because we had a lot of friends on the team, or water polo, or really anything.

CMS Stags Football logoWhen there was a PP/CMS match however, the vibe was definitely different. There was more adrenaline pumping ceaselessly in the crowd and a powerful sense of community and team spirit that I grew to love. I remember during football season, my friends and I were walking back from brunch at Scripps and spied a small tailgate right outside Rains Athletic Center where they were selling T-shirts.  These shirts are just one instance of the playful rivalry amongst the consortium and of course my friends and I had to stop and purchase these shirts (it would just be a sin not to!).

Haldeman Pool from above
Haldeman Pool

Although our sports culture is obviously not the big-time, stereotypical D1 college sports culture that takes up entire Saturdays and is broadcast all over live television, our little sports rivalry on campus is definitely one to watch and one to take part in  (if whoever is reading this decides to come to Pomona) because it truly brings everybody closer together and provides an even stronger sense of community among the 5Cs. Plus we live in sunny Southern California where the weather is impeccable all year round, so there really is no excuse not to get out and support the PP/CMS rivalry. I absolutely love this facet of Pomona because it is another part of the institution that makes it so eccentric and special.