Exhibit Honors Pueblo's Bell Game, Possibly The Oldest Football Rivalry In The West

Sep 15, 2017

This newspaper clipping is from The Pueblo Chieftain, October 22, 1950, and the photo marks the moment when this historic football rivalry became formalized as The Bell Game. Local booster Lou Rhoades donated the beloved bell. He is pictured here with winning Wildcat players.
Credit Courtesy: El Pueblo History Museum

A new exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo explores what may be the oldest high school football rivalry in the west -- between Pueblo's Central and Centennial High Schools. 

The two schools have battled on the football field since 1892, and for the last 67 years, the victors have claimed a special trophy: a bell from an old locomotive.

The annual Bell Game fills Pueblo’s 15,000 seat Dutch Clark Stadium with generations of local fans. This year, student curators from both Central and Centennial High Schools collected artifacts to tell the history of the game.

"Just to see that this is unique," says Sophis Diprince-Markuson, a student at Central.  "This is what makes Pueblo, Pueblo."

Jacob Lewis, a student at Central's rival, Centennial High School, agrees.

"It really does go far beyond the game," Lewis says.

This year's game is Friday, September 15.  The Bell Rings exhibit runs through February 4, which also happens to be Superbowl Sunday.