BLOG: York Tech to play for rivalry trophy on Friday
Rivals playing for a rotating trophy is nothing new in college football.
They are especially popular (and often bizarre) in the Big Ten Conference, where trophies such as Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa vs. Minnesota), Paul Bunyan's Axe (Minnesota vs. Wisconsin), the Little Brown Jug (Minnesota vs. Michigan) and the Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana vs. Purdue) are awarded annually.
Of course, not all rivalry trophies are created equal. The Land Grant Trophy, given to the winner of the Penn State-Michigan State game, has never caught the popular imagination.
In high school, rivalry trophies are relatively rare in these parts.
Hanover, Delone Catholic and South Western played for the Hanover City Cup from 1980 until 1995, but that trophy stopped being awarded when South Western outgrew its two smaller rivals.
Hanover Area Division Cups were later awarded, with Littlestown, Hanover and Delone playing for Division II Cup, while South Western, New Oxford and Spring Grove played for the Division I Cup. The division cups stopped being awarded after the 2011 season because York-Adams League realignment prevented the teams involved from playing each other on an annual basis.
Now, a York County school is jumping into the rivalry trophy business, and it's probably not the program you would expect.
The long-suffering York Tech Spartans football program will now have a new trophy to play for.
The Spartans open their 2016 season at Harford Tech in Bel Air, Maryland, at 7 p.m. Friday in a game being billed as the first "Battle for the Mason-Dixon Line."
At stake is a newly established traveling trophy going to the winner, along with bragging rights for the top technical school in the region.
At the conclusion of the game, the teams will line up on the 40-yard lines and the trophy will be presented.
This seems like a nice idea for the Spartans, who have long struggled to compete on the football field, largely because of their lack of a feeder program.
The fact that the trophy game will pit two neighboring technical schools in differing states, but separated by just 45 miles, only adds to the interest.
Friday, York Tech will officially welcome back former head coach Charlie Troxell for his second stint with the program. The Spartans went 2-8 last year. Troxell went 2-28 in his first stint as the Spartans' head coach from 2002-04.
The Harford Tech Cobras, meanwhile, went 5-5 a year ago and have a roster more than three times the size of the Spartans.
Winning Friday would appear to be a tall task for the Spartans, but if they can pull off the victory, they'll take some hardware with them when they travel back across the border.
Earning a trophy of any kind is almost unheard of for the York Tech program. The Spartans' only championship came way back in 1976, when they captured the York County League Division II crown.
Friday will present York Tech with a nice opportunity to end a long trophy drought.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.