Green and gold are not typically colors that are welcome on the Fountain Valley High campus.
Then again, this was not a typical Friday.
Rival Edison High has been in mourning this week after two brothers, senior Josh Page and sophomore Jeremy Page, were killed in a car crash Monday morning.
First-year Fountain Valley principal Paul Lopez said a Barons teacher suggested having a “green and gold” spirit day Friday, with their school’s students and staff wearing the Edison colors.
Fountain Valley’s school colors are blue, red and gold.
“I sent out the email, and staff is looking at me going, ‘Barons don’t wear green,’” Lopez said. “I said, ‘We can on this Friday as a show of support.’ And everybody was on board. It’s all about supporting Edison, making sure they’re OK and bringing our kids together.”
Hundreds of Fountain Valley students and staff gathered on break Friday morning in the bowl on campus to take a big group picture. Some held a large banner in support of the Chargers, while everyone shaped their hands in a heart symbol.
The Fountain Valley Fire Department, which has a station across the street from the high school, brought over a fire truck and extended a long ladder in the sky for a more aerial picture. A drone also captured images.
Lopez said Fountain Valley staff planned to head to Edison later Friday to deliver the photo, along with donations from staff members. The Fountain Valley football program also made a donation to Edison’s program on Thursday, Lopez said, because both Page brothers played football at Edison.
“Even though we’re rivals at sports, it’s a good way to show that it’s more than a game,” said Fountain Valley senior boys’ basketball player Roddie Anderson, who wore a green hoodie for the photo. “We’re still a family together. I think it’s really important to show that we still care about them, even though we may not like each other on the football field, the baseball field, the basketball court. We still love and support the [Page] family.”
Fountain Valley senior Katelynn Pham, who is in ASB, agreed.
“We support each other, even when we’re going through really difficult times,” she said. “We know that they would have our backs, and we have theirs.”
It turned into a districtwide outpouring of support. Green and gold were seen across Huntington Beach Union High School District campuses Friday, and the Huntington Beach City School District also encouraged its students and staff to wear the colors.
A picture was taken at Eader Elementary in Huntington Beach, and the trend even spread to neighboring Newport-Mesa Unified School District schools like Costa Mesa and Estancia.
“We are rivals, Fountain Valley and Edison, but when something like this happens, we just have to come together,” Lopez said. “It makes sense. These guys, they played youth sports together, they went to elementary school together, they went to middle school together … there are too many family ties.”
Irvine police — who are heading the investigation into the crash because the other car was a Huntington Beach city vehicle — have yet to release further details about the circumstances of the crash, which occurred about 8:15 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Newland Street and Yorktown Avenue.
Additionally, no details about a memorial service or funeral for the Page brothers have been made public.
“At this time, the family has asked for privacy,” Huntington Beach Union High School District spokeswoman Hayley Berbower said in an email. “We are extremely saddened by the loss within our community. Our focus right now is to offer support to the students, staff and families that have been affected by this tragedy.”
In the wake of the brothers’ deaths, some are rallying for protected turn arrows at the busy intersection. Gina Cisternelli, a student at Huntington Beach High who wrote that she had been in a severe car accident at the intersection, started a petition online, which had more than 5,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon.
The speed limit on Newland Street is 45 mph between Hamilton Avenue and Heil Avenue, but many cars go faster as they use it as an alternative to adjacent Beach Boulevard.
“I live nearby and constantly hear street racers,” wrote Erica Ratzon, who signed the petition. “I would love to slow down traffic coming from Beach Blvd.”
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