How SHSU students feel about the final BOTPW game
The Battle of the Piney Woods football game has been one of the longest standing traditions in Sam Houston State University history. This Saturday’s game will mark the end of the near 100-year tradition.
This year’s Battle of the Piney Woods (BOTPW) will be the 96th time Sam Houston State has taken on Stephen F. Austin. The first game was held on November 17th, 1923 at Pritchett Field, with each team alternating as hosts until 2010, when the annual games were contested at NRG Arena in Houston, TX.
Feelings from Sam Houston students about the final game can be summed up in one phrase: Saddened, yet prideful. Senior Victim Studies major Grace Pennington says, “Saturday is the last BOTPW game and I got lucky that I was able to attend or watch them from my freshman year to my senior year. I think it is crazy that this is the last one, we had such a good season winning the national championship and stuff like that. It’s been an ongoing tradition for a long time, so it’s weird to know it’s coming to an end, and I’m just glad I experienced it.”
Senior Mass Communication major Lola Stewart-Morris states, “I feel as though the last BOTPW will be historic and nostalgic and I feel like there’s gonna be a very “homey” feeling for the SHSU students. We have defeated the SFA Lumberjacks for many years now and I really think this is gonna be a new era of football for the SHSU Football Team. I have not been to any of the games previously, but I have been proud of the SHSU Football Team for the trophies they have brought home for the university.”
For over ninety years, nearly every student at Sam Houston has had some experience or familiarity with the BOTPW game. However, for underclassmen, they will experience life at SHSU without the annual game beginning next year.
Sophomore Criminal Justice major Aubri Peavy laments on this year’s game being the last, “I went last year to the BOTPW game as a freshman and it became a core memory, with the stadium being filled with screams and cheers, and it also being one of the most exciting, closest football games i’ve ever watched. I will cherish this last game, and I recognize that I am truly lucky to get to experience two years of this SHSU tradition and it saddens me that it is coming to an end.”
The 96th annual Battle of the Piney Woods game takes place this Saturday, October 1st at NRG Arena. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com