With Hardin Valley Middle School basketball having just started its program, the inaugural “Battle of Turkey Creek” came to life in Farragut Middle School’s Bobby J. Henry Gymnasium last week.
The inspiration for coining the phrase and finding a turkey likeness — about 15 inches tall and painted gold — as a traveling trophy awarded to both the boys and girls regular season winners each year came from FMS principal West Edmonds.
On a whim.
“I came up with it last night,” Edmonds said about his idea — which came to mind Wednesday evening, Nov. 7 — less than 24 hours before his teams hosted HVMS Thursday afternoon and evening, Nov. 8.
“I talked to one of their administrators. Melissa Glover and I have taught together and coached together. She liked the idea and she talked to their principal, Corey Smith, and he liked the idea,” Edmonds said. “Their coaches were on board with it, my coaches were on board with it.
“So we kind of made it happen today (Nov. 8) at school. We had someone buy that turkey, at 2:15 (p.m.) today at Hobby Lobby, and then we painted it gold,” he added. “Just kind of thinking that it would be cool, since this is the first time ever playing and we needed to do something special.”
As for why the phrase “Battle of Turkey Creek,” which ties in with the trophy, “Turkey Creek separates us,” Edmonds said.
Although only one turkey was bought, painted and ready to go with “HVHS vs. MHS” painted in black, “We’re definitely going to have two — a boys and a girls golden turkey,” Edmonds said.
Farragut took possession of the “Golden Turkey” trophy thanks to a sweep: Susan Davidson’s FMS girls winning 38-22, then Randy Swartzentruber’s boys finishing on top 38-17.
“This is on Mr. Edmonds. He came up with this at the last minute. It’s good for the kids to have something like this to play for. It’s special for them,” Swartzentruber said.
“I think that’s awesome,” HVMS girls head coach Cara Cahak said. “I think it’s always good to have a rivalry game where you have something to look forward to, actually have something to take home.”
“I’ll be fun for the girls and guys to be able to talk about it throughout the year, just getting excited about it,” she added.
Davidson said the “Battle of Turkey Creek” trophy “is an excellent idea to create some great fun competition. … It gives the kids something fun to have claiming rights for a year, then we’ll put what year you win it (on the trophy).”
“This is special and I’m proud to be a part of this rivalry game,” Hawks boys head coach Dylan Rayho said. “It’s great for the kids."