Victoria chamber to award boot to winner of East, West game

The Victoria Chamber of Commerce will present this boot trophy to the winner of the Victoria East-West game on Friday.
  • VICTORIA EAST (8-1, 4-0) vs. VICTORIA WEST (5-4, 2-2)7:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium

    Reserve seats are sold out, but general admission tickets will be available at the gate.

The Victoria Chamber of Commerce is going to give the winner of Friday's football game between Victoria East and West the boot.

Literally.

The winners will be awarded a boot trophy, which the chamber is sponsoring for the game.

The trophy will travel between the victor of the annual rivalry each year.

The idea came from the other travelling trophies between football rivals in college and in high school, said Randy Vivian, the chamber's president.

"We wanted to do something to recognize the schools," he said. "I know that UT and Oklahoma have the hat that they pass back and forth; Tennessee and another school have a brown jug that they pass back and forth."

But the chamber also wanted to give the teams something to play for besides bragging rights.

"We wanted to jump into the excitement and give them something that they could play for, even if they are having a bad season."

There's an excitement over the rivalry, he said, and it's ignited new passions in people in the city.

And it harkens to a decade ago, the last time there were two high schools in Victoria.

"I told someone, you don't remember the Stroman-Victoria High game when people would camp out for tickets," he said.

The original proposal for the trophy came from the chamber, Vivian added, and they enlisted the help of High Brehm Hats and Western Wear for the boot, and Hudson's Engraving put the trophy together.

"I am pleased that the chamber stepped forward with the idea of the traveling boot trophy for the winner of the East-West football game," VISD superintendent Bob Moore wrote in an e-mail. "It will build a lot of pride for the winning team and fans and will be something that will symbolize good sportsmanship over time.

"The presentation of the traveling boot will be a win-win for the community."

But the trophy has run afoul of plans from booster clubs at both schools to award their own trophy, a sword. A public event listing on Facebook set up by members of the East booster club has labeled the game the "Battle for the Sword."

It has about 750 members so far.

The idea for a sword trophy came from the logos, said East booster club president Fred Wallace, father of junior Titans linebacker Nic Wallace.

"The Warriors got a sword, the Titans have a sword, so it's the 'Battle of the Sword,'" he said. "That's kind of what we came up with."

The booster clubs found out last week through East principal Greg Crockett that the district was planning on making the boot the trophy.

"No disrespect to Mr. Moore, but we as a booster club didn't understand that they were going to have a boot," Wallace said.

But the booster clubs still plan to award the sword to the winner. And he's hoping it ends up with the Titans at the end of the day.

"The sword's going to be an internal trophy for our schools, and we'll just pass it back and forth to the winner," Wallace said. "Regrettably there's not much to tell about it. It's an awesome looking sword, and we'll have it in the East case provided everything goes well."

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The East and West booster clubs have a listing for the East-West game, including additional ticket, game and pep rally information:

Victoria West Warriors (2-2) @ Victoria East Titans (4-0)