/Battle of 61′ – a Delta tradition – draws to an end

Battle of 61′ – a Delta tradition – draws to an end

The “Battle of 61”, held at Delta State University last Friday, may be the end of a long-standing and bitter tradition. Named after the U.S. highway running through Cleveland, this annual rivalry is known as the “Battle of 61”. 13 of the 27 games have been won by a score of 10 or less. The East Side Trojans maintained their perfect season record, even though they lost their 32-30 lead. However, some observers saw the referees make a series call that preserved their win percentage. The half-time show was less contentious. During it, two of the school’s marching bands joined together in unity. Rory Doyle, a Cleveland-based freelance photographer, captured the game and documented the possibility of the end to a Delta ritual. In May, a court decision called for the “rebranding” and naming of the school. Although the details are not known, it will almost certainly include a new logo, mascot, and new colors. Cleveland High School may hold the lead in this series at 16-11 if that happens before next autumn. Friday’s victory was the Trojans’ first over the Wildcats for four years. Many in Cleveland find the hardest pill to swallow is the loss of identity. Donna Lucas, a 1996 ESHS grad, said that she grew up in a family with strong ties to the East Side. “I was raised among a whole family Trojans. Trojan is a term I use to describe my pride. Lucas, her son, graduated last year from her alma mater. But she says she has come to terms with the fact her daughters won’t. She is a teacher at the Cleveland Career Development and Technology Center and has learned to appreciate the Wildcat pride she’s seen. “Their pride, our pride combined, I don’t think it’s going to be bad for the long-term.”