Thursday, September 17th, 2009
By Ryan Hines
The Algae Cup up for grabs on Friday
As if the Celina/St. Marys rivalry game needed anything to heighten the intensity of the annual Battle of Grand Lake.
Not only are bragging rights on the line when the two rivals square off each year, but this season the Bulldogs and Roughriders are going to be playing for The Algae Cup.
The winner of Friday's Battle of Grand Lake at Celina Stadium will receive The Algae Cup, a trophy created to help add a little more spice to the annual gridiron matchup between the Bulldogs and Roughriders.
The Algae Cup stands over two feet tall with a wooden base featuring the tongue-in-cheek background of the trophy. The top of the trophy has a 20-inch tall golden metal cup, which includes an outline of Grand Lake and two handles.
Along with the trophy, Celina and St. Marys have been selling T-shirts promoting The Algae Cup with the proceeds being given to charities. Celina will be giving half of the money from its T-shirt sales to the student council Santa fund with the other half going to Celina's Dolly Parton project (books given to disadvantaged youth in Mercer County). St. Marys' proceeds will go to the MHS Relay for Life fund and to the Roughriders' football moms club.
McSports and Albert Sporting Goods are the sponsors of The Algae Cup, which has been on display at both Celina and St. Marys high schools.
"I thought it would be nice to give something to the winner of this rivalry game each year and came up with the idea for the trophy," said McSports co-owner Joe Bidlack. "We've had great success with selling T-shirts which will help fund some charities and the trophy itself is just something to have a little fun with the greatest rivalry in the WBL (Western Buckeye League)."
Albert Sporting Goods was happy to join in the venture for The Algae Cup.
"Joe (Bidlack) is the brains behind the whole thing, but once we were approached with it, we were happy to jump on board," said Lyle Albert, vice president of Albert Sporting Goods. "It's a great way to raise money for charities and I think that it will help add a little more excitement to the game each year."
The Algae Cup won't be presented to Friday's winner after the game, it will be handled by the winning school's athletic director the following week with details unknown at this point according to both schools.
Bidlack used the idea for The Algae Cup based on what Paulding and Wayne Trace do during their annual Paulding County rivalry game on the gridiron.
"They play the Black Swamp Bowl in their rivalry and they have raised $2,000 for their charity (food pantry) and we are hoping to have the same kind of success with our setup," said Bidlack. "Each community looks forward to the Celina/St. Marys game each year. There are big games on both schools' schedule each year, but this is The Game of the season for both sides, kind of like Ohio State and Michigan when they play every year. We've had a lot of fun getting this going and we hope that both communities can have some fun with it too."
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