WHITTIER — The "Battle for the Shoes" moves to the daytime.
The start time of the Occidental College football team's game at Whittier on Nov. 9 has moved to 1 p.m. to accommodate the possibility of the Whittier men's soccer team hosting the SCIAC championship soccer game.
It's a rivalry that goes back many years and has a great story.
Since 1946 the Poets and Tigers have played for a pair of bronzed cleats, worn by 1940 Whittier graduate Myron Claxton, in a rivalry game that has grown to be called the "Battle for the Shoes". On the Thursday evening prior to the scheduled meeting of the teams in 1939, members of the Occidental football team stole the All-American running back's shoes from the locker room, forcing Claxton to play in his work boots. Even with out proper footwear, Claxton led the Poets to a 36-0 victory as they went on to win the SCIAC title that year. Following the game Claxton, who was the final draft pick for the New York Giants in the 1940 NFL draft, went over to the Oxy sideline and retrieved his shoes, "bringing them home". Seven years later members of the Franklin Society, which Claxton was a member, had the shoes bronzed and the teams have played for the coveted "Shoes" trophy ever since.
Oxy comes into the rivalry game after successfully defending the Drum trophy in Southern California's oldest college football rivalry with a 13-7 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday.
The Tigers are 4-3 overall and third in the SCIAC at 3-2. Whittier (0-7, 0-5 SCIAC) enters the weekend still in search of its first win.