Smudge Pot football game fuels burning school rivalry

By AILEEN JANEE CORPUS

Wildcats celebrating their 5th consecutive Smudgepot victory in 2017. (ANDREW VINES/ Ethic News photo) https://ethic-news.org/2017/10/17/wildcats-win-smudge-pot-for-fifth-year-in-a-row-against-terriers/

It’s October and that means two things for Redlands East Valley High School and Redlands High School students: Halloween and the annual Smudge Pot football game. The Smudge Pot game is the rivalry between the REV Wildcats and the RHS Terriers.

To start off, what even is a smudge pot? A smudge pot is a device that burns oil and is placed in orchards in order to keep the trees from frosting their leaves and their fruit.

Although the use of these orchard heaters has been illegal in California since 1947, that does not stop the symbolism of the smudge pot from prevailing in Redlands, California, once home to more than 15,000 acres of orange groves.

On the smudge pot, a statement is engraved: “A perpetual trophy, honoring redlands’ citrus industry heritage, passed to the winner of the annual Redlands High School vs. Redlands East Valley High School football game, in the spirit of friendly competition and sportsmanship.” (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News photos)

The beginning of this rivalry amongst two schools started in 1997, the first year that REV was open, and continues to this day every school year in October.

Per tradition, whichever school wins the football game also wins the smudge pot with the score of the game engraved on the smudge pot. In the past 23 years, Redlands East Valley High School has taken the smudge pot 14 times, and Redlands High School has taken it 10 times.

The Smudge Pot game is also a great opportunity for the REV Litterbox and the RHS Boneyard to show their school pride and high spirits. In past years, students have painted their bodies according to their school colors and have cheer-offs against the opposing school.

For this 2021-2022 school year, the Smudge Pot game will occur Friday, Oct. 15 with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. and kickoff at 7:00 p.m. at the RHS football stadium, Dodge Stadium.

Tickets to the game can be purchased at any time on the website gofan.com, and game-day tickets will be available for purchase. Tickets for adults are $8 and tickets for students are $5. Children 6 and under and students with an ASB card will be admitted to the game for free. 

Good luck to both teams, and may the best team win.

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