A lot of things have changed since the fall of 1972. But, in south metro area prep football, there has been at least one constant: The Brookridge Trophy, aka “The Milk Jug.”
To start at the beginning, you have to go back even farther in time when the owners of the Brookridge Dairy donated land that would become Littleton Public Schools Stadium.
To honor that donation, and to whip up a little more the rivalry between two then-young schools, coaches at Heritage and Arapahoe high schools came up with an annual matchup and a prize to covet.
Like the Stanley Cup, there is only one Brookridge Trophy, and it passes to the winner of the cross-Littleton Public Schools contest each year.
A small plaque gets added each year with date and score. If Centennial-based Arapahoe wins, it’s a black plaque. For a win by Littleton-based Heritage win, a red one.
COVID-19 canceled the 2020 matchup, so Arapahoe, the 2019 winner, has enjoyed an extra year of ownership.
Friday's game was sold out. Home-field status alternates each year, and Arapahoe got that advantage in the form of a higher percentage of alloted tickets.
Arapahoe fed on that advantage and needed little time to get a decent lead on the scoreboard. But even with a lopsided 42-0 final score, the game never suffered a lack of intensity.
Being in different classifications, these teams will never see a playoff game together, but you wouldn’t know that from the player and fan enthusiasm levels.
When the end-of- game handshakes concluded, Arapahoe Captain Jackson Adams was first at the display table to take possession of the night’s prized piece of hardware. After first raising the Brookridge Trophy for all to see at mid-field, he made a beeline for the Arapahoe student section where his team had gathered to welcome the Milk Jug back to Arapahoe for another year.
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