Students across campus are counting down the days until orange and purple collide, Bearkats and Lumberjacks clash, and every bit of school pride is accounted for. The Battle of the Piney Woods.
For the past few years however, something other than bragging rights rides on the outcome of the annual football game. The student governments of both Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin State University have made a friendly wager that states the losing university’s SGA must attend and participate in the winning school’s community service project.
This year, if SHSU bests SFA once again in the rivalry, Lumberjacks could potentially be volunteering at SHSU’s annual event, “Bearkat All Paws In” held on March 21, 2015.
The four-year-old community service project consists of a range of volunteer-based activities from picking up trash at the Huntsville State Park to spending time with the elderly at Ella Smithers Geriatric Center.
If SFA steals a victory, then SHSU’s SGA will volunteer at “The Big Event,” a community service project where SFA students spend the day saying “thanks” to their Nacogdoches community through small jobs like window washing and various yard work activities.
Allegedly, this friendly wager stemmed from the bet that Dean of Students John Yarabeck had with SFA’s Dean of Students, Adam Peck where the dean of the losing school had to take a picture wearing a tie from the winning school.
The SGA volunteer agreement was created to provoke even more school spirit, comradery and provide more volunteers for each university’s community service project. For the last three consecutive years, SHSU has yet to lose the game or wager.
Student Body President Spencer Copeland explains that, in the event of a loss, senators will attend Nacogdoches on a volunteer basis. The entire SGA organization will not be required to go. However, all of SGA is looking forward to the big game.
“We’re always very excited every year,” Copeland said. “We’re not going to lose, so we’re excited to get the extra help.”
The Battle of the Piney Woods will be Nov. 1 at NRG Stadium, formally Reliant Stadium, at 3 p.m.