CMS and Pomona-Pitzer football teams to play for “The Battle of Sixth Street” trophy

CLAREMONT, Calif. – During halftime of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team’s Homecoming Game on Saturday, Oct. 11 against La Verne, CMS Director of Athletics Mike Sutton '76 will present the new rivalry trophy that will be given annually to the winner of the football game between CMS and Pomona-Pitzer. The new trophy replaces the Peace Pipe, which had been exchanged between the Stags and Sagehens since 1959 and was retired in November of 2013, prior to the annual rivalry game.

Because CMS won the 2013 game between the two teams, the new trophy will be presented by Sutton to the four graduating seniors (Kris Otterholt '14, Joey Liekweg '14, Greg Wilson '14 and Ugo Nwasike '14) from the 2013 CMS team at the Homecoming Game on Oct. 11.

“The tradition of this rivalry has great meaning to our alumni and the current teams,” said Sutton, the William B. Arce Professor and George R. Roberts Fellow and Director of CMS Athletics. “The new trophy will represent success in our competition in a similar way to the previous trophy. I am pleased with how both teams have accepted the decision to retire the Peace Pipe Trophy and I expect nothing less than a classic competition between CMS and Pomona-Pitzer in future rivalry games, regardless of the shape or name of the trophy.”

The new trophy (pictured) is constructed from the old street sign that stood at the corner of Sixth Street and Mills Avenue and it is fixed on top of a two-tiered wooden base. The street sign was given to The Colleges by the City of Claremont. On the base of the trophy are year-by-year results of the annual match-up and an explanation of what the trophy stands for. The idea for the new trophy originated with the current players.

“The Peace Pipe was an important tradition in our program for 50-plus years and it remains a significant part of the football program’s history,” said CMS head coach Kyle Sweeney. The rivalry with the guys across the street is always intense. Having a trophy to play for again is something the players are very excited about.”

Prior to the 2013 rivalry game in November, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athletics and Pomona-Pitzer Athletics decided to retire and replace the Peace Pipe Trophy, which, since 1959, had gone to the winning team of their yearly match-up.

The decision to retire the Peace Pipe Trophy was a result of ongoing discussions between the two athletic departments with members of The Claremont Colleges’ Indigenous Student Alliance (ISA), who expressed their cultural concerns about using a sacred object as a trophy. The “Peace Pipe,” also known as the Sacred Pipe, the calumet, or the chanupa (or canupa), is considered a sacred object for many indigenous groups in the United States and is intended for use in religious rituals.

“I am proud of our Colleges for respecting the religious traditions of others and I am grateful to the members of the ISA who requested in a very respecful and rational way that we recognize their concern about using the Peace Pipe as a trophy,” said Sutton.

The two athletic departments and the ISA are working together to finalize how the Peace Pipe Trophy will be stored going forward as part of the history of The Colleges.

The Peace Pipe Trophy was created in 1959 to symbolize the friendly nature of the competition between the two campuses.

CMS leads the annual series 33-23 over Pomona-Pitzer. The two teams will meet in their 2014 match-up on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Pomona-Pitzer with game time set for 1 p.m.