When In Texas: Week 8 / by Guillermo Hernandez Martinez

This week's edition of When In Texas comes out one week late since I had the honor of participating in the 2014 Mountain Workshops last week and was unable to take the time to work on Week 8's post of this project.

Keeping with Week 7's rivalry theme, this instance of When In Texas features the longest continuously played rivalry in the state of Texas: Sherman vs Denison's "Battle of the Axe."

With a history spanning 113 years back to 1901, the Bearcats and Yellow Jackets have played each other 116 times, with the Sherman Bearcats resulting victorious 68 times to Denison's 40, including the two most recent editions. 

The rivalry's most visible symbol is an axe trophy with the scores of each game engraved in its blade. "The Axe" has been awarded to the annual game's winner since 1949, when it was donated to the schools by Denison businessman Jack Barker in order to stop vandalism associated with the rivalry.

This year's battle was held at Dr. Rene and Eva Gerard Field at Munson Stadium in Denison, home of the Yellow Jackets. Originally built by Works Progress Administration as part of New Deal policy in 1940, Munson Stadium underwent a complete renovation before this season. The six-million dollar project included a new walkway leading to the stadium entrance from Downtown Denison, as well as a rebuilding of the home side stands and press box. The newly built features were witness to a dominating 42-20 victory by the Yellow Jackets, who picked up their 40th rivalry win and secured possession of The Axe for one more year.

Catch up with the previous episodes of When In Texas by visiting the blog entries linked below or by visiting the project's dedicated page: When In Texas.

Week 1: Woodlands College Park vs Pearland
Week 2: Mason vs De Leon
Week 3: West Rusk vs Sabine
Week 4: El Paso vs Jefferson Silva
Week 5: Katy vs Katy Taylor
Week 5: St. Anthony vs St. Stephen's
Week 6: Lufkin vs Whitehouse 
Week 7: Midland Lee vs Odessa Permian

Members of Denison High School's drill team, The Stingerettes, perform outside Munson Stadium prior to the Yellow Jackets' football game against Sherman High School on Oct. 17, 2014 in Denison, Texas.
The Denison-Sherman annual rivalry game, known as "The Battle of the Axe," is the longest continuously played rivalry game in the state of Texas, dating back to 1901. The winner of the annual game takes possession of an axe-shaped trophy which has the scores of every game engraved in its blade.

A Sherman High School fan and his sign are engulfed in smoke after the Bearcats' entrance into Munson Stadium prior to their football game against Denison High School on Oct. 17, 2014 in Denison, Texas.
During the rivalry's 113 years of existence, the Yellow Jackets and Bearcats have met at least once annually, with the exception of six years in which the teams didn't play, including 1918 and 1919, during World War I. 

The Denison football team huddles in the middle of Dr. Rene and Eva Gerard Field at Munson Stadium before the start of warm-ups prior to their annual game against archrival Sherman on Oct. 17, 2014 at Munson Stadium in Denison, Texas.
Originally built by Works Progress Administration as part of New Deal policy in 1940, Munson Stadium underwent a complete renovation before this season. The six-million dollar project included a new walkway leading to the stadium entrance from Downtown Denison, as well as a rebuilding of the home side stands and press box.

Denison high school students throw baby powder in the air after a Yellow Jacket touchdown during second quarter action of their annual rivalry game against Sherman on Oct. 17, 2014 at Munson Stadium in Denison, Texas.
The Sherman Bearcats hold the historical advantage in "The Battle of the Axe" series, having won 68 games to Denison's 40, with 8 ties during the 116 games played by the schools.

Denison linebackers warm up in front of a burning sky prior to the Yellow Jackets' annual rivalry game against Sherman High School on Oct. 17, 2014 in Denison, Texas.
During this year's edition of "The Battle of the Axe," Denison dominated Sherman 42-20 on their way to picking up the school's 40th rivalry win and keep the axe in Denison for the second year in a row.

Yellow Jackets wide receiver Jamale Childs is raised by his teammates as he hoists the Axe after his team defeated Sherman 42-20 in their annual "Battle of the Axe" rivalry game played on Oct. 17, 2014 at Munson Stadium in Denison, Texas.
While the rivalry has been played for 113 years, the Axe only became a feature after it was donated in 1949 by Jack Barker, a Denison business owner in order to stop vandalism associated with the rivalry. Since then, each game's score is engraved on the blade after the game and the trophy is left in the victor's care until next year's Battle.