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Robinson Unveils 'Mayor's Bowl' Trophy

Mayors Bowl 082321.JPG
City of Pensacola
Courtesy Photo
(L-R): Washington HS principal Rick Shackle; former mayor Ashton Hayward, Pensacola HS principal Saraya Miller, former mayor Mike Wiggins, and Pensacola mayor Grover Robinson.

When the city of Pensacola’s two high schools, Booker T. Washington and Pensacola, meet on the football field on Sept. 3 at PHS, there will be a little extra incentive to win.

“I’m a big believer certainly in what the schools are doing academically and what we’re achieving — and we’re achieving big things — but not everything you learn is in the classroom,” said Mayor Grover Robinson. “You do learn a variety of things about teamwork, working together, achieving goals through athletics.”

Mayor Grover Robinson, at his weekly news conference, said the game will begin the awarding of the “Mayor’s Bowl” to the winner each year. He reminisced about playing freshman football at Washington vs. Pensacola.

“That game — Washington High School ended up prevailing in a 14-6 hard-fought game that year; and the team again finished undefeated,” Robinson said. “It was an instrumental part in my development, not just by what you learn in the classroom, but by what you also learn playing on a team and playing a sport.”

The mayor, among others, is hoping the new trophy will add a little something to the longtime rivalry between the two schools inside the city limits, both on the field and in the community.

“I certainly grew up hearing a lot of ‘Go Tigers Go’ and my kids went there; but my heart will always be blue and white and certainly for Washington High School,” he said. “Certainly I think that’s what we hope to do with this. And it is Northwest Florida, so what better sport to do that in than football?”

Joining Robinson for the announcement were former mayors Mike Wiggins and Ashton Hayward, and the schools’ principals. First up, Pensacola High’s Saraya Miller.

“This bleeds right into our motto at Pensacola High School — ‘we are one school, one dream, one team’ — where it does take more than just academics for the overall student,” Miller said. “It takes the athletics; the clubs, it takes the organizations, the communities. So we are looking forward to the community coming out, and taking home that win.”

And so, the trash talk began at City Hall 11 days before kickoff.

“And I appreciate all of you being here and supporting Pensacola High School and this rivalry, and we are definitely excited about this game,” said Miller. “I have been speaking with Mr. Shackle and letting him know that we will be taking that cup home.”

“Mr. Shackle” is Washington High’s new principal, Rick Shackle.

“I know we’re going to go out here, the boys are going to play hard [with] great sportsmanship, very competitive football,” Shackle said. “And I will tell [Miller], when you want to take the cup, or the bowl, or whatever it is – you can certainly borrow it out of my office."

On a serious note, Shackle added that there’s no secret formula for student success.

“Get involved in something; it’s not just athletics,” he said. “It’s the academics, it’s the clubs. Get out and be involved in something. Both of our high schools have more than enough things to offer. There is something for everyone, whether you go out there on Friday night with the football players, the coaches, the band, the community, the booster clubs — it takes all of us. And you know what? That’s when special things happen.”

Besides the new hardware, the Tigers will also have the incentive to avenge a 47-7 loss at the hands of the Wildcats last season. But before then, there’s the matter of their season openers Friday night. Washington takes on University Christian, while Pensacola begins with the Tate Aggies.