Joshua Terris ’22
Last weekend, Blue Storm sports teams faced off against Kiski School and the Madeira School for the annual Centennial and M Cups. Throughout the year, Mercersburg boys play Kiski and girls face Madeira in every sport that both Mercersburg and its rivals compete. At the end of the year, whichever school has won more competitions takes home its respective cup.
In 2013, after 100 years of competition, the Centennial Cup was established to recognize the longstanding rivalry between Mercersburg and Kiski. Around that time, the M Cup was founded to engender fierce competition between Mercersburg and Madeira.
When asked about the importance of these rivalries, athletic director Paul Sipes elaborated on the reasons for their inception and their intensity. “Rivalries happen for two reasons, geography and longevity. Kiski is a longstanding rival. They are part of the historical experience of students at Mercersburg for 108 years. Madeira is close, close in size, close in academic profile, close in terms of proximity, and it made sense to formalize that rivalry.”
The boys cups has rich history behind it. Since 1913, Mercersburg has faced off against Kiski in nearly every sport. In the early days of the rivalry, the students would travel by the Pennsylvania Railroad to each other school’s campus and stay to dine after games.
The M Cup is far newer, created relatively recently by Mercersburg’s former athletic director Rick Hendrickson and then assistant athletic director Katie LaRue, who went on to become the athletic director at Madeira. It was a rivalry and recognition formed to give girls sports at Mercersburg an equivalent competition throughout the year.
Going into last weekend, boys teams knew what they would be facing. Sipes states, “The boys’ teams knew the likely outcome of their games. Kiski is the Number 2 prep school in the country for soccer. We knew there was a tough game ahead. Cross country could see each other’s times on Athletic.net and had the idea we were significantly stronger.”
Conversely, the M Cup games were far less predictable. Before the weekend, Mercersburg and Madeira hadn’t faced each other since before the pandemic. Also, the lack of common opponents made it harder to gauge the skill level of the opposing team.
Despite some uncertainty over the matchups, it seemed like Mercersburg athletes were excited to compete last weekend. Four-year cross country runner Monique Garcia ’22 said, “My favorite part of the M Cup is being able to become friendly competitors with Madeira. I’ve actually made a friend there while competing against their cross country team. Hi Katie!”
The Centennial and M Cups have become integral parts of the Mercersburg athletic tradition. The rivalry between the schools is history-rich and intense, and Mercersburg students love participating in both. As the Blue Storm moves into the winter season, more competition will occur. Stay tuned!