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‘Bum’ trophy to be awarded next week

Port Arthur News Publisher Rich Macke and Port Neches Groves Superintendent Dr. Mike Gonzales say to ensure safety after the Mid-County Madness football game Friday, the trophy presentation will take place at the winning school next week, not after the game. Here is their letter:

It’s that exciting time of year again where the anticipation throughout the entire high school football season leads us to “Mid County Madness,” held Friday, Nov. 9 at PNG High School Stadium.

The focus of all high school sports should be about the game and those involved. Because ultimately, that is what it is: A game. But what a great game it is.

Both PNG and Nederland high schools promote good sportsmanship by their players, teachers, coaches, parents, family members and fans alike. In an emotional setting such as “Mid County Madness,” sportsmanship should be shown and applauded for no matter the final outcome of the game, for both teams.

Therefore, we ask all those in attendance on or off the field follow our sportsmanship creed: “Let the coaches coach, let the players play, let the refs officiate and let the fans be supportive.”

In our ever-changing landscape across the nation, school districts need to take enhanced precautionary measures to increase safety at all school functions. That fact is no different right here in Mid County. Nor should it be.

Safety of all who attend and participate in “Mid County Madness” is, and should be, top priority for school administrations. And clearly that is the case in PNG through the additional safety measures put into place throughout this school year.

The “Bum Phillips Trophy” became a very fun part of this great high school rivalry in 2013. Bum’s legacy throughout Mid County football is entrenched in its history. But even Bum would not want the trophy to either outshine the game or be the cause of any potential safety hazard for those celebrating the game.

It is for this reason that PNG ISD and The Port Arthur News have agreed that the “Bum Phillips Trophy” will not be presented on the field to the winning team directly after the game. Yes, the trophy will still be at the game, set up near the end zone as it has over the past four years. However, this year we will work together to create a presentation of the trophy to the winning school during the week following the “Big Game.”

In our continued effort to maintain sportsmanship and increase safety for all in attendance, we hope you will understand and accept this change for the betterment of the students, players and attendees of this years Mid County Madness game at PNG High School.

We thank you in advance for your continued support. And wish both teams good luck in what is always a great game to be a part of.

Sincerely,

Rich Macke                                      Dr. Mike Gonzales

President & Publisher                   Superintendent

The Port Arthur News                   PNG ISD