Don’t plan on bringing spray paint to this year’s Civil War game. The tradition of spray painting Thunder Stadium’s goalposts the victorious team’s color has been discontinued, according to a letter sent out by Bonneville and Hillcrest High Schools Monday evening.
The letter — signed by Bonneville High School Principal Heath Jackson and Hillcrest Principal Scott Miller — was sent out to both communities to address the changes, stating the primary concern for the discontinuation is “student safety”.
“During the last several years the goal posts have been significantly bent, weakening the structural integrity of the goalposts, creating concerns of the goalposts breaking and falling on students,” the letter said.
Other concerns included vandalism and how a damaged goalpost could affect either program’s schedules.
“The tradition of high school football and this rivalry itself will continue to create excitement in our school communities,” the letter states. “We will also be working with the student bodies at both schools to generate other ideas to celebrate the winning school.”
Last year’s south end goalpost was significantly bent following Hillcrest’s 34-13 win over Bonneville, as Hillcrest players and students sat and stood on the bottom crossbar.
And while the spray painting tradition — which was carried over from D91’s Emotion Bowl — may discontinue, this year’s Civil War will see a new one: a travelling trophy.
“Obviously it’s not the only thing we’re looking forward to — we’re looking forward to the game — but it’s kind of disappointing,” Hillcrest’s Taylor Sloan said. “I’ve been looking forward to spray painting the goalposts since I was a little kid, but I understand why they want to stop it.”
At practice Tuesday, Bonneville center Cort Erickson echoed a similar disappointment, sentiment as Sloan. The Bees have not won the annual D93 matchup since 2013. Hillcrest has won four-straight Civil War matchups and nine of the previous 10.
“Ever since middle school, I’ve watched the Civil War and never been able to spray paint them,” Erickson said. “It’s been red every year, so that kinda makes me mad. I guess we’ll just have to see how the week turns out, I would want to spray paint them.”
Friday’s kickoff is 7 p.m at Thunder Stadium.