POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — A gridiron tradition, the Battle of the Bridge game, between the Point Pleasant Big Blacks and the Gallia Academy Blue Devils, returns Friday night.
The Gallipolis and Point Pleasant Rotary clubs, along with game sponsor Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH), are all a part of this long-standing tradition between the two communities. This week, members of both clubs, along with personnel from PVH, gathered to promote Friday’s upcoming game which takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field at Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High School.
The Rotary clubs’ shared history with the game goes back decades.
As reported by Ohio Valley Publishing in 2019, “Part of those memories, for many years at least, was the presentation of the Rotary trophy which is estimated to have had its beginnings in 1977. A joint project between the Point Pleasant and Gallipolis Rotary clubs, the Rotary president of the losing team would present the trophy to the Rotary president of the winning team, who then presented it to the winning coaches and players. However, for some reason, the trophy went missing or was accidentally misplaced, possibly when Gallia Academy moved into its new facilities, according to the best guess of some Rotarians. The tradition also became forgotten by some Rotary members and it fell by the wayside, though not everything forgotten is lost.”
PVH had a new Rotary trophy commissioned in 2019 by Brett Little, owner of Ohio Valley Trackworks Inc. The trophy, which is six-feet long and includes the Rotary emblem as well as emblems for Gallia Academy and Point Pleasant High School, will be on display under a tent upon entering the stadium gates prior to the game. The Blue Devils first took possession of the trophy in 2019 and it was recently returned to Rotary and PVH in preparation for the presentation to the victors on Friday.
The game is the culmination of PPHS’ “100 Years of Football” celebration this week. Tonight (Thursday, Sept. 2), a parade begins at 6 p.m. in downtown Point Pleasant, followed by a pep rally at 7:30 p.m. at the football field at PPJ/SHS.
Then, prior to Friday’s game, a special tailgating event will take place outside the school starting at 4:15 p.m. During the tailgating event, the PPHS Football Boosters will have a table set up for former PPHS players to register to be part of the team walk on prior to the game at 6:45 p.m. The first 100 to register will receive a commemorative “100 Years of PPHS Football” lapel pin. Special “100 Years” t-shirts and hats will also be for sale.
Beth Sergent contributed to this story.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (740) 444-4303.