UT MARTIN, TSU SHARE SGT. YORK TROPHY
After UT Martin topped Tennessee State 35-26 on Saturday, both teams have claimed a share of the 2012 Sgt. York Championship. Both squads finished 2-1 in Sgt. York competition this season.
The Sgt. York Trophy goes to the winner of the quadrangular season football series between the four OVC football-playing schools located in the state of Tennessee - Austin Peay State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Martin.
The teams are co-champions but Tennessee State will take home the actual trophy following the tiebreaker that states the previous year's winner will retain the trophy if they are part of the tie.
The award will be presented at the Pepsi Celebration of Champions hosted by the Nashville Sports Council in the spring (March 7).
This marks the fourth time that Tennessee State has claimed a share of the title and also the fourth time they have taken home the actual trophy. The Tigers shared the title with Austin Peay in 2007, won it outright in 2008 and shared it with Tennessee Tech a season ago.
For UT Martin they won the outright championship in 2010, and are sharing it for the first time this season.
The award is only the second traveling trophy that involves more than two teams in college sports; the other is the Commander in Chief's Trophy which has been contested between Air Force, Army and Navy annually since 1972. The award, created in 2007 by the Nashville Sports Council, is presented to the winning institution annually at the NSC's Celebration of Champions. The event was created in 1999 and salutes amateur and professional sports in Tennessee.
The award is named in honor of Alvin C. York, the most noted Soldier of World War I. As a corporal in the 2nd battalion, 328th Infantry, in the Battle of the Meuse River-Argonne (Oct. 8, 1918), York and seven other soldiers captured 132 prisoners, was promoted to sergeant and received the Distinguished Service Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, the French Legion of Honor, the Croce di Guerra of Italy and the War Medal of Montenegro. Upon his return to the United States in 1919, he was bestowed the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Following the war York returned his home in Pall Mall, Tenn. (located in north central Tennessee, 55 miles northeast of Cookeville) where he dedicated his life to improving education and facilitating educational opportunities for children in the state of Tennessee. In 1927 he established the Alvin C. York Institute after spending several years raising money for the school which opened as a private institution. That school was established, in part, to provide educational opportunities denied to the boys and girls of Fentress Country. In 1937, the Institute became a state special school after an appeal to the Tennessee State Legislature. The school, located in Jamestown, Tenn., is still in operation today.
York died on Sept. 2, 1964 and the foundation which he helped establish in 1920 - The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation - was dormant for many years. The Foundation was re-established by Lipscomb Davis, Jr. in 1992 and is currently run by Sgt. York's grandson Gerald (U.S. Army Colonel, Retired). York's papers are archived by Michael E. Birdwell, Ph.D., who is an associate professor of history at Tennessee Technological University, one of the four institutions that competes for the yearly honor.
2012 Sgt. York Trophy Games Results
Sept. 15 - @Tennessee State 34, Austin Peay 14
Sept. 22 - UT Martin 31, @Austin Peay 6
Oct. 27 - @Tennessee State 22, Tennessee Tech 21
Nov. 10 - @Tennessee Tech 45, UT Martin 44 (OT)
Nov. 17 - @Austin Peay 38, Tennessee Tech 31
Nov. 17 - @UT Martin 35, Tennessee State 26
All-Time Sgt. York Trophy Winners
2007 - Tennessee State*, Austin Peay
2008 - Tennessee State
2009 - Tennessee Tech
2010 - UT Martin
2011 - Tennessee State*, Tennessee Tech
2012 - Tennessee State*, UT Martin
*Took home the trophy due to winning the tiebreaker