A neighborhood united despite its divide

Harlandale-McCollum is rooted in rivalry and a shared desire not to be overlooked

This story is part of the Know My Neighborhood: Harlandale-McCollum series.

The Harlandale-McCollum neighborhood encompasses roughly 2,000 homes on San Antonio’s South Side, east of Interstate 35 and inside Loop 410.

It spans across Military Drive and Pleasanton Road and includes Stinson Airport to the east.

For generations here, there are only variations of the same question: Harlandale or McCollum? Indians or Cowboys?


The rivalry between the two high schools runs deep and lasts well after graduation.

A major road in this neighborhood also serves as a physical divide between the two.

“I kind of feel like Military Drive divides McCollum and Harlandale,” said Rosie Gonzalez, president of the Harlandale-McCollum Neighborhood Association.

Gonzalez says the name of the association, which was established roughly two years ago, was chosen in an effort to unite both sides of this neighborhood.

“It’s not just McCollum, and it’s not just Harlandale,” she said. “It’s both.”

The two high school football teams face off each year in the Frontier Bowl. And when it comes to game time, there is no love lost.

“When it comes to Frontier ball game, we don’t get along,” Juan Mancha said. “But it’s only that week.”

Mancha has lived on the Harlandale side for 47 years.

“Always nothing but Harlandale!” he said.

Here’s how he describes the neighborhood:

“We’re actually a big family, you know, but it’s like your cousins that you like, but you only want to see them every now and then,” he laughed. “It’s the same thing, you know, with Harlandale and McCollum.”

Mancha is active in the neighborhood association and wishes there was more participation from his Harlandale neighbors.

Gonzalez and other association leaders agree, saying getting more people involved from Harlandale, and overall, has been tough.

“It’s a challenge to get the attention of people. We are a non-membership fee association. So we don’t have mailouts,” said Becky Ruiz, secretary of the neighborhood association. “The only thing we have is social media and not everybody has social media.”

“Word of mouth,” Mancha said. “Everything in the Harlandale area, it’s got to be word of mouth.”

Mancha said times of need are what unites his neighborhood most.

“Our infrastructure here. We don’t have none,” he said. “We used to be the area that was growing and populating, you know, between I-35 and Roosevelt. Then all of a sudden we just kind of got ignored for a long time.”

So when the neighborhood association was formed, Mancha jumped at the chance to get involved and see what difference he and his neighbors could make.

Association meetings are a chance to meet face-to-face with a District 3 City Council member or a representative.

Neighbors also get to know their SAPD SAFFE officer, who grew up in the neighborhood himself.

Despite the rivalry between Harlandale and McCollum, both sides of the neighborhood share a common bond and pride in their South Side roots.

“It’s really the South Side,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not Harlandale, not McCollum. It’s the South Side.”

About the Authors

Myra Arthur is passionate about San Antonio and sharing its stories. She graduated high school in the Alamo City and always wanted to anchor and report in her hometown. Myra anchors KSAT News at 6:00 p.m. and hosts and reports for the streaming show, KSAT Explains. She joined KSAT in 2012 after anchoring and reporting in Waco and Corpus Christi.

Andrew Wilson is a digital journalist and social media producer at KSAT.

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