A coveted pair of hand-carved wooden shoes.
A potential league co-championship.
The final collegiate game for 18 senior players.
What more excitement could the final game of the 1999 season
The Flying Dutchmen of Hope College will host the Hornets of
Kalamazoo College on Saturday (Nov. 13) in the 79th renewal of a
storied football series known as the "Wooden Shoes Rivalry."
The Flying Dutchmen will be bidding for their 16th MIAA
title, albeit a co-championship with Albion and Alma. The
Britons and Scots have concluded their seasons with 5-1 marks in
the MIAA. Hope stands 4-1. Four of Hope's past championships
have been shared with other teams -- 1934 - Hope and Kalamazoo;
1958 - Albion, Hillsdale and Hope; 1963 - Hope and Kalamazoo; and
1997, Adrian and Hope.
The Hope-Kalamazoo rivalry dates back to 1910. A pair of
hand-carved wooden shoes has gone to the winner every year since
1931. The shoes were purchased by first-year Hope coach Bud
Hinga who was a Kalamazoo College graduate.
Hope holds a 38-34-6 advantage in the series. The Flying
Dutchmen have won 19 of the last 23 games between the teams,
including a 24-14 victory in 1998.
Seniors playing in their final game include Matt Anderson of
St. Joseph (St. Joseph HS), Ross Baldwin of Lansing (Lansing
Catholic HS), Todd Cooper of Stevensville (Lakeshore HS), Joe
Fitzsimmons of Jenison (Jenison HS), Ryan Gonzales of Troy
(Birmingham Seaholm HS), Matt Handzo of Clinton Township (De
LaSalle HS), Mark Hofstee of Kentwood (East Kentwood HS), Aaron
Jubar of Holly (Flint Powers HS), Peter Kellepourey of Maple
Valley (Maple Valley HS), Jason Main of Six Lakes (Lakeview HS),
Brent Merchant of Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo Central HS), Eric Nichols
of Grandville (Calvin Christian HS), Ted Patrick of Shepherd
(Shepherd HS), Tony Petkus of Jenison (Jenison HS), John Soltis
of Gaylord (Gaylord St. Mary's HS), Todd Tester of Traverse City
(Traverse City HS), Bryan Volk of Traverse City (Traverse City
HS), and Dan Wegner of North Muskegon (North Muskegon HS).
The game will pit the top two defensive teams in the MIAA.
Hope tops the league in total offense allowing 238 yards a game
while Kalamazoo ranks second at 241 ypg. Kalamazoo leads the
MIAA in defense against the rush allowing just 68 yards a game
while Hope ranks second at 81 ypg. Hope is the leader in defense
against the pass (157 ypg) while Kalamazoo ranks second (173
ypg). Both teams have allowed just over two touchdowns a game --
Hope allowing 16.9 ppg and Kalamazoo 17.1 ppg.