The Bell Chimes Once Again


Emily Chang, Executive Editor

Cheer & co. pose with the recovered bell.

Before 1992, Round Rock ISD only boasted two high schools: Westwood High School and Round Rock High School. A friendly rivalry soon began between the two schools and combined with their locations on either side of the railroad track, the Battle of the Bell was born. Every year, Westwood and Round Rock play a game of football against each other; the winner receives the railroad bell.

“While there are other rivals, RRHS and WHS have the original rivalry,” Associate Principal Kim Hodge said. “From the beginning – if you possessed the bell, you were the best.”

Not only was the Battle of the Bell the determining factor regarding athletic skill, but it was also a highly anticipated game for the student body of Westwood and Round Rock.

“It’s always the biggest game in the district,” Dayton Ames ‘15 said. “It’s always a good game between us and Round Rock. The competitiveness and the physicality of the game is about the rivalry.”

A few years ago, after a six year winning streak by the Warriors, the bell was stolen from the main office of Westwood.

“When I found out it was stolen out of the main office, I was upset,” Associate Principal Kim Hodge said. “Anytime a crime [occurs], we report it to the police.  We tried to identify the people who stole the bell, but the cameras and the time of night it was stolen made it difficult.”

Despite its disappearance, the railroad bell remained a symbol of victory to the student body and the football players.

“We were always told the tradition of the bell,” Ames said. “Even when it wasn’t there, we

still thought about it.”

Coincidentally, just a few days before the Battle of the Bell game on Oct. 31, the bell was found at the bottom of Lake Travis.

“I was contacted by the Round Rock High School Principal that the bell had been returned to her and she would like to bring back [the] tradition at the football game on Halloween,” Principal Laurelyn Arterbury said.

Westwood was defeated by Round Rock on Oct. 31, allowing Round Rock to take home the railroad bell. Despite the disappointing loss, the bell did not relinquish its meaning to the Warriors.

“The thing about winning the game is you get the bell for the next year, for the next 365 days,” Ames said. “It’s a really important thing—a symbol to everyone at Westwood or Round Rock.”