‘Traveling Milk Jug’ makes its debut
By Ross Pattermann
Just a few short miles of asphalt is all that separates the city of Abbotsford from the city of Colby. And yet, despite their proximity to one another, it’s been over 50 years since they last duked it out for gridiron supremacy.
You have to go all the way back to the 1960s to find the last time Hornet fought with Falcon. That year was 1967, and it was also the first year of legendary Hall of Fame Colby head coach Duane Teska’s tenure.
For the sake of perspective, Neil Armstrong had yet to walk on the moon, Lyndon B. Johnson was president, and The Graduate was the highest grossing movie at the box office, earning just over 43 million dollars that year.
For years the two teams were either in a different division, or in a different conference. They’ve enjoyed winning traditions, with Colby taking state titles in 1998, 2008 and 2011. Abby has won its share of gridiron glory, taking home conference titles and reaching three state semifinals in the last four years.
2020 has seen its share of surprises, but one of the more welcome ones is that Colby and Abbotsford are now both in the Marawood Conference. It only seemed right that there should be something to celebrate this new rivalry, and Colby’s Matt Oehmichen, operator and owner of the social media website “The Hornet’s Nest” had the perfect idea — a traveling trophy.
Oehmichen spent most of the early spring brainstorming ideas, and with the input from the two communities, he came up with the idea of a milk jug.
“We came to the conclusion that a milk jug would be more appropriate because each community is heavily invested with dairy. It’s part of the social fabric of Colby and Abbotsford.”
Matt secured a brand new dairy can from Lynn’s Dairy in Marshfi eld, and then his brother, Wade Oehmichen, helped secure the plaque onto the can. Burt Trophy & Awards in Marshfield also supplied information and advice on how to design the trophy, and they will be laser etching the scores of each game onto the plaque.
Oehmichen then went before each program and hyped up the game and why this game and this trophy was so important.
“This showcases how important each meeting that your two programs have because this is going to become a lasting legacy for your football programs.”
He also highlighted the fan excitement behind the game and what makes the sport of football so special to the two cities.
“What really makes football so special, and what this battle for the can is going to do, is that both of our cities have a lot of pride and we’re blue collar. People generally gravitate towards football more than any other sport because every inch and every yard you guys bleed and sweat for.
“People feel connected to that with their own personal and financial and emotional struggles in their lives. When they see their kids battle and succeed and face adversity, they see a reflection of themselves in that. That gives a lot of people hope. That’s why this meeting is more than just a game.”