Long before the great rivalries of the NFL, a high school football rivalry found its roots in a small steel worker’s town at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Pueblo, Colorado will host this year’s 116th game between the Central High School Wildcats and the Centennial High School Bulldogs in what has become the oldest prep football rivalry West of the Mississippi. The two schools met in their first clash in 1892 and with each generation the rivalry– and bragging rights– has grown. In 1950, the victor gained more than just bragging rights when an old train bell from the town’s Colorado Steel & Iron Company was donated to the victor. Each year that bell makes its home in the school– and colors– of the winning team. It’s an understatement to say the appropriately named Bell Game has become a family tradition. The bell spent the last year housed by the Wildcats after they broke the Bulldogs’ five-year winning streak. The victor will get the Bell and the next year of bragging rights, but both teams will have a small part in football history.


Patrick Gonzales
Pueblo Centennial


Lane Bourdon

Pueblo Centennial

Lane is a member of the Centennial football team and is also a member of the Health Academy. He is currently CNA certified and is working on an EMT certification. Lane plans on pursuing a career in the medical field and is currently deciding where to attend college.
Devean Johnson

Pueblo Central

Devean is a 4-year starter in football for the Wildcats earning All-Conference honors twice. He participates in 3 sports including football, basketball, baseball and is an active member of Student Council and National Honor Society. Devean was also the recipient of the Masonic Lodge Outstanding Junior Award. Devean plans on attending Colorado State University—Pueblo to pursue a degree in teaching.


The price of red paint at hardware stores in Pueblo might be going up. Pueblo Centennial may need plenty of it in order to restore what they feel is the rightful color of the victory bell. With a 31-7 win over Pueblo Central, the east side of Dutch Clark Stadium filled with chants of “the bell rings red.” And for the next year, it will. In the 116th meeting between the Bulldogs (1-2 overall) and the Wildcats (0-3), it was Carlos Vigil and Patrick Gonzales who made the key plays needed for the bell to change hands once again. With a 71-yard touchdown run on Centennial’s first offensive play of the game, the Bulldogs sent a clear message that they came to take back what belonged to them. That momentum carried over to the ensuing Central drive as Diego Servantez fumbled the ball away to the Bulldogs. It was Gonzales who found the endzone to make it a 14-0 game before the Central fans even had time to admire the bell on their sideline. That lead was far more comfortable than anyone would like to admit, but once the Bulldogs had the lead, they were not willing to give the Wildcats an inch. The game came to an end where the Bulldogs came out with a win of 27-24 over the Wildcats. For the Bulldogs, all is right with the world. The bell rings red.