NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With its 31-6 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday, Tennessee State has captured the 2013 Sgt. York Championship. The Tigers finished 3-0 in Sgt. York games this season to claim its fifth title in the seven-year history of the competition.
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 award will be presented at the Pepsi Celebration of Champions hosted by the Nashville Sports Council in the February.
It marks the second time TSU has won the trophy outright (2008 being the other), as the team shared the title (but took home the trophy) in each 2007, 2011 and 2012. The Tigers are 12-9 all-time in Sgt. York Trophy games.
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.
2013 Sgt. York Trophy Game Results
Sept. 21 - Tennessee State 41, @Tennessee Tech 21
Oct. 10 - UT Martin 28, @Tennessee Tech 17
Oct. 19 - Tennessee State 29, @UT Martin 15
Oct. 26 - UT Martin 38, @Austin Peay 14
Nov. 9 - @Tennessee State 31, Austin Peay 6
Nov. 23 – Austin Peay at Tennessee Tech
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
2013 - Tennessee State
*Took home the trophy due to winning the tiebreaker