Elkton and Bo Manor announce new Battle of 213 Trophy
— Bragging rights is no longer enough for a pair of Cecil County high schools involved in one of the area’s more spirited gridiron rivalries.
The Elkton and Bohemia Manor football teams announced this week the introduction of the Battle of 213 Trophy that will be presented every year to the winner of the annual game between the two programs.
The trophy, jointly designed by Bo Manor head coach Joe Graf and Elkton head coach Matt Feeney, will be unveiled Thursday
during the game between the two teams. The high schools, separated by a nine-mile stretch of Route 213, have combined for 19 playoff appearances and two state championships since 2000.
“It’s fun. I know it’s been in our thoughts for a few years trying to get something like this [created] for two teams that historically are very good year in and year out,” Graf said. “Being in two different classifications has maybe hurt the rivalry a little bit, but in terms of Cecil County, this is still one of the best games year in and year out.”
The final design for the trophy was an obvious choice by both sides.
The teams will battle for control of a sledgehammer, which features “Battle of 213” painted on the side. Each year, the game’s winning team will be presented with the trophy at the conclusion of the contest.
“[We wanted to come] up with a symbol that really represents both of our programs. We use the sledgehammer as one of our symbols and they use the ‘ sledge’ as their symbol. What better thing to do then to say, ‘We’re going to play for this each year?’ That’s going to be the trophy that’s going to be on the line,” Feeney said. “Coach Graf did a great job, he painted it up and it’s got “Battle of 213” on it. That’s the thing that we came up with together talking. It’s just exciting, the kids are buying in. I love it.
“I would love to see all the county teams have something because we play each other every year. It will be great to have that, but I think what Joe and I did there, it’s going to be great for the kids for a long time.”
The team that wins will have the privilege of decorating the trophy, including painting, adding the final score and even writing the names of the players on the sledgehammer. It will then be placed in the school’s trophy case for an entire year before it’s once again up for grabs when both rivals compete the following fall.
“Coach Feeney and I talked a little bit over the summer about getting something started like Havre de Grace and Perryville do with the Susquehanna Bowl,” Graf said. “We’re basically right next door to each other and know each other well and most of the time we’re friends. We root for each other except for one game a year.”
When the two teams meet Thursday, it will feature a pair of squads hoping to better position themselves for the playoffs. The Golden Elks (6-1) are attempting to maintain their foothold in an ultra-competitive 2A East Region race, while the Eagles (5-2) are setting their sights on capturing home field advantage in the 1A East postseason.
“There’s a long history there. I don’t think any two football teams have won more big games in Cecil County than our two teams. Theres’ a lot of familiarity on both sides,” Feeney said. “It is a storied rivalry.”
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig