A big trophy for a big game

Former football coaches Ernie Monfiletto (Douglas) and Blair Roman (Carson) stand next to The Rivalry Trophy in 2017 after its creation.

Former football coaches Ernie Monfiletto (Douglas) and Blair Roman (Carson) stand next to The Rivalry Trophy in 2017 after its creation.
File photo

The Rivalry Trophy is newest addition to the 100-year long battle for glory between the Carson and Douglas high school football teams.

The trophy came about in 2017, and has worked its way into becoming a part of the best rivalry in the Battle Born state.

Winners are elated when they get to wheel the trophy from the sidelines to their waiting teammates.

Losers spend a year contemplating how to get it back.

No matter how anyone feels about the trophy, everyone wants it.


Who came up with the idea of the trophy really depends on whom you ask.

Former Douglas High head coach Ernie Monfiletto said former Senator coach Blair Roman approached him with the idea.

Roman said he had been thinking about a trophy, but it was his assistant Jim DeArrieta who initially brought it up.

Regardless, the trio moved forward with the creation idea, using local avenues to design the state of Nevada on the trophy and the mining cart that allows the trophy to be wheeled around.

However, one area that isn’t really debated is why the trophy came into existence.

A heated rivalry that has seen its fair share of off-the-field shenanigans, the trophy was designed, in part, to help dissuade a streak of vandalism at each school.

“For me the vandalism played into it (the decision to have a trophy),” Roman said. “I wanted to also have a positive focus for the game away from that type of thing, as well as honoring the rivalry.”

Both coaches agreed at the time that The Rivalry should be settled on the field and not with destruction of property.

Each community played a part in the creation of the actual trophy.

Burns Machinery and Douglas High welding teacher Jared Hyatt designed the metal cutout of the state of Nevada, which sits on top of the mining cart.

DeArrieta, along with Alltizer Powder Coating and Award Zone in Carson City, completed the final touches on the mining cart, which was purchased off eBay.

DeArrieta said the cart needed to be almost completely reconstructed after he purchased it, needing new wood, wheels and, of course, to be put together again.

(The 2022 Carson High School football team surrounds The Rivalry Trophy after defeating Douglas, 12-11, on the Senators’ home turf. / Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage)


It takes some work to haul the trophy to the annual game.

Current Carson head coach Ryan Boshard said the Senators will need at least four or five guys and a spare pick-up truck to get the four-foot tall trophy down to Douglas this fall.

When either team wins, it usually takes a pair of teammates to push it to their end zone.

“The winning team gets to take possession of it and roll it to their end of the field after the game,” said Roman. “It’s a good feeling when it’s your team that gets to do that.”

During the week of The Rivalry, the team that won it the previous year rolls it out onto the sidelines to remind the players what is at stake.

When it’s not on the move, it’s in a fixed location.

At Carson High School — the current holders of trophy — it is on display for all to see.

“At Carson it’s in a great spot facing Senator Square in the library.  When Carson had it, I got to walk by it several times a day,” said Roman.

Douglas, which is in a two-year drought of claiming the trophy, hoists it onto a shelf above its gymnasium doors in the commons.

Both communities make it a priority that the trophy can be seen by anyone who walks into their school.

Some think the trophy is a bit of a monstrosity. Others are impressed as the spectacle of such a large reward for a high school football game.

Either way, there wouldn’t be anyone affiliated with either school that says they don’t want it in their possession.

The Rivalry Trophy is now — and will continue to be — a staple as the best rivalry in the state continues.

(The 2020 Douglas High School football team celebrates, surrounding The Rivalry Trophy, after besting the Carson Senators, 38-9, on their home field. / Ron Harpin)


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