Note: This post was originally written and published on Oct. 10, 2007, at the now-defunct Sports Goulash site for the Casper Star-Tribune and trib.com.
Friday’s game between Natrona County and Sheridan is the renewal of a rivalry that dates back nearly a century. And for a time, the two teams battled not only for a victory, but for the “Queen Marie Trophy.”
What was it? Well, here is this excerpt from the Nov. 11, 1943 Casper Tribune-Herald (an old cousin of the current Casper Star-Tribune):
“Several years ago when the local citizens were looking around for some trophy as a stake for the annual Armistice Day games the late Queen Marie of Rumania happened to be passing through the city. She was asked to autograph a football which she graciously did and since that time the autographed pigskin has been the highly prized award of the winner of the annual Armistice Day football game between Casper and Sheridan.
“The somewhat faded pigskin is carried back and forth between the two cities as a token of their victories. It is believed to be the only such trophy in the state where two teams annually battle for the possession, and it has become a tradition.
“The honored pigskin has changed hands often. The football games played between the Broncs and the Mustangs are the fiercest fought games of the season.”
Then there’s this, from a preview of the 1944 Casper-Sheridan game in the Star-Herald:
“The team which won three years in successions was to have permanent possession. Casper won permanent possession but later put the trophy up again and they are still playing for the football.”
The question now becomes: Where is this football now? Is it in the trophy case at either NCHS or Sheridan? Is it on a dusty mantlepiece in someone’s home, or tucked away in a forgotten box in an attic? Or was the football overlooked and carelessly thrown away several decades ago?
Personally, I have no idea. Google “Queen Marie Trophy” and nothing comes up. If I’m not mistaken, if you look in the trophy cases at both Natrona County and Sheridan, you’ll have similar success.
If the football can be found between now and Friday, and put on display during the contest, I’m sure both schools would be more than happy to renew this tradition.
For now, though, it’s a matter of finding it.