Texas high school football is rife with traditions, most revolving around rivalry games.
A new one has been created with the opening of Centennial High School, the second high school in Burleson. No longer will the Elks have to leave the city to find a good game against a familiar opponent.
Through the efforts of several local businesses the annual football game between Burleson and Centennial will have a traveling trophy called “The Boot.”
The winner of the varsity football game each year will be awarded “the Boot” trophy for a year. The concept was the brainchild of Burleson Star sportswriter Ricky Moore, Burleson Star editor Brian Porter and First National Bank of Burleson branch vice-president Jerry Payne.
“For the first time in the history of Burleson, there are two high schools,” Porter said. “But there's one trophy.”
The first “Battle for the Boot” game will take place Nov. 9 when Centennial hosts Burleson at Burleson Stadium.
The 23-inch trophy was roughly designed by Moore and created at Burleson's Awards by Mastercraft by co-owners James and Diane Tidmore.
“Brian and I both have been to many Axe games between Lewisville and Flower Mound Marcus during a stint at another newspaper,” Moore said. “We thought bringing a trophy to the game would help build a friendly rivalry.
The story of the “Axe” is that a woodshop teacher at one of the schools created a trophy, an axe, that the winner of the game each year would possess until the next game. There are other high school games, like the one between Burleson and Cleburne, where a trophy is at stake.
Moore and Porter came up with the idea at work. They first approached Burleson ISD athletic director Phil Anderson to see what he thought of the idea.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Anderson said.
With the support of BISD Superintendent Richard Crummel and some other district officials, the ball began to roll on the project.
Porter, who is a board member of the Burleson Lions Club, approached fellow member and president Jerry Payne about co-sponsoring and funding the building of “The Boot.”
Payne brought in First National Bank of Burleson president and CEO Gary Shipp on the effort.
“First National Bank is proud and honored to sponsor this trophy and be a part of the ongoing history and tradition of these two great high schools,” Shipp said. “We look forward with anticipation to awarding it to the first inaugural victor.”
Elk and Spartan logos adont the 15-inch acrylic boot that sits on top of the trophy . Presenting sponsor First National Bank is prominently displayed on the trophy with the Burleson Star. A large, and quite heavy, base includes a panel that simply says “The Boot.” There are blank panels on the base of the trophy where scores from each game can be engraved.
“It was appropriate in a City of Character, where excellence is appreciated, to establish ‘The Boot,'” Porter said. “Burleson and Centennial will forever be tied together by the ‘Battle for the Boot.' It will forever stand for character and excellence. To have it is to know you rose to the challenge.”
There are 12 blank panels for the first 12 game scores on the top of the base. There's space for more
panels to be added on the base, creating what Payne described as a 50-year trophy.
“The Boot” was shown Thursday to both teams during their respective practices. As an endorsement of its quality, one Burleson football player defined it as “dirty,” which he had to explain was a good thing. He's also a baseball player and he says that means, in slang, it is awesome.
Crummel, Anderson and other BISD officials also had an opportunity to see the trophy Thursday at the administration building, and it gathered a crowd in the building's lobby.
The trophy will be shown at different stops in the community in the weeks leading up to the game to allow as many residents as possible to see the trophy before it is awarded to the teams.
The Trophy Tour
Following is a glance at where you can see “The Boot” around Burleson in the weeks leading up to the first “Battle for the Boot.” The hours the trophy will be available for viewing at each location is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The trophy will be available, unless at a special event, in which case we will make an announcement of that in advance. The trophy will be awarded Nov. 9 to the winner of the first Burleson vs. Centennial football game.
Sept. 24-: First National Bank, 899 N.E. Alsbury Blvd.
Oct. 1-5: Burleson Star, 319 N. Burleson Blvd.
Oct. 8-11: Burleson Chamber of Commerce, 1044 S.W. Wilshire Blvd.
Oct. 15-19: Burleson ISD, 1160 S.W. Wilshire Blvd.
Oct. 22-26: Centennial High School, 201 S. Hurst Rd.
Oct. 29-Nov. 2: Burleson High School, 100 Elk Dr.
Nov. 5-9: First National Bank, 740 S.W. Wilshire Blvd.
Sept 26: Burleson Lions Club (FUMC), 11:45 a.m.
Sept. 28: Burleson Morning Rotary Club (Hill College), 7 a.m.
Oct. 25: BACC quarterly luncheon, TBD
To have “The Boot” appear at your special event, email Brian Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.