By Camden Smithtro
The buzzer sounded, the game was over, and the Breakers had won the shoe. A sea of fans dressed in red and gold, united in victory and the common enemy of those they call, The Padres, Pacific Grove’s student section trampled Carmel’s fence and stormed the field in celebration. Players, coaches, students, and fans alike screamed and cried tears of joy, for the coveted shoe once again returned to Pacific Grove. That was two years ago, and as Shoe Week approaches, Pacific Grove is shoeless once again.
During this first week of November, PGHS and its students prepare all week for the highly anticipated game on Saturday. Although this is a week upon which PGHS students spend long hours praying for a victory, and mimic their enemies in a comedic fashion, it should also be one of remembrance for what this game and its traditions represent as well. For in order to truly understand the drama behind the game, one must appreciate its history.
The rivalry between Carmel and Pacific Grove dates back just a few years before the extinction of the dinosaurs. No, not literally, but the hatred shared between these two schools is one that has lasted decades. There is great speculation as to how the Shoe Game tradition even began. Legend and mystery tells a rather peculiar story of which has become accepted overtime as the truth, as time has served to make it harder to determine what actually did or did not happen.
Legend has it that after a game between the bitter rivals, a player had left behind his shoe on the field, and one of the teams’ coaches decided to cast the shoe in bronze, hence the shoe-shaped trophy our team fights for every November. The long lasting series is brutally close, as Pacific Grove has captured the title of the Shoe Game just two more times than the Padres.
Part of what makes this rivalry so special, is what the game and its trophy truly represent. The Shoe is not merely a symbol for bragging rights, for it embodies all the history, the hate, the passion, the grit, the sweat, the tears, the determination, and the love for the game of football that has been put forth this year and those countless years prior. It embodies what it means to be a Breaker. Come this Saturday, history will once again be written. One team shall win, and the other shall lose, and the fight to keep the shoe will continue to live on.