Egg Bowl football game won’t be renewed this year

The last Egg Bowl, which was in 2011, was an ugly affair with fighting, racial epithets and chippy play. The game was suspended indefinitely. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat, 2011)

The last Egg Bowl, which was in 2011, was an ugly affair with fighting, racial epithets and chippy play. The game was suspended indefinitely. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat, 2011)

By PETER FOURNIER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Egg Bowl football series between Casa Grande and Petaluma high schools will not resume this fall and won’t for at least the next two years.

Casa Grande Principal Linda Scheele confirmed the decision Tuesday night that the formerly long-standing crosstown rivalry isn’t being renewed.

“We discussed the Egg Bowl with the folks from PHS,” Scheele wrote in an e-mail. “The decision was made not to play the Egg Bowl next year. Due to the fact that our agreements to play other teams are generally for two years, we will revisit the Egg Bowl in two years.”

Scheele elaborated on the decision Wednesday.

“As you know, we’re in two different leagues now,” she said. “We simply weighed the pros and cons for each school and decided it didn’t make sense for next year. That’s really all there is to it.”

The decision was made, according to Petaluma coach Rick Krist, after a round-table meeting between coaches and administrators for both schools. He said that Scheele and Casa Grande Assistant Principal Stephen Owens were the ones who “really directed that meeting.”

Krist said he believed everything was OK, in terms of actually playing the game, between himself and Gauchos coach Trent Herzog, but that the final decision doesn’t go through them.

Herzog referred questions about the game to the administration.

“My administrators support me 100 percent,” Krist said. “They basically let me do whatever I want as long as it’s to their standards. They’re in full support of me.”

Krist said in December that the game had a 75 percent chance of returning next season.

The annual series between the two Petaluma high schools, which dates to 1974, was halted after the 2011 Egg Bowl because of what administrators perceived as increasing tensions from a game that included 19 penalties, reported racial epithets and cursing between the two teams.

There had been some thought the series could resume in 2014. In December, Krist said he supported the resumption of the series and Herzog felt similarly.

Casa Grande joined the North Bay League beginning in the 2012 season, while Petaluma remained in the Sonoma County League.

The move meant both teams weren’t required to play each other every year.

In addition, Casa Grande, an NCS Division 2 school, has enjoyed more success in recent years than Division 3 Petaluma. The move to the more competitive NBL would help prepare the Gauchos for postseason play, Owens said in a 2011 interview. Part of the reason, Owens said in 2011, was to help prepare the Gauchos for the postseason.

 

“We’re trying to be more competitive for what we’re doing in the North Coast Section,” Owens said in 2011. “We’re going to want to look at opponents that will help with seeding and rankings.”

Petaluma wouldn’t have been the best matchup to help the Gauchos’ postseason push the past two years, as the Trojans failed to have a winning record in 2012 and 2013.

Owens didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment on the decision, but was quoted in December 2011 as saying that losing the Egg Bowl would be a blow to fans, alumni and players. “We met together and decided we would go our separate ways. We’re going to take a two-year hiatus, at least,” Owens said in 2011.

Asked about his 2014 season, Herzog said his team is still searching for a Week 2 or Week 3 opponent. One of those weeks will be a bye, the other is a game that needs to be played.

Krist also said he’s looking for a Week 3 opponent, adding that his schedule for next season may be set as soon as next week.

 

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