History repeats itself – home field advantage again turns out to be more of a disadvantage. Monroe Area claims back the Freedom Bowl Trophy, beating the Loganville Red Devils 28 – 7. (Final results per Maxpreps).
The football rivalry between Monroe and Loganville will be on display tonight as the Monroe Area High School Purple Hurricanes head to Loganville for the annual Freedom Bowl to kick off the 2021/22 football season. This game is played in honor of local servicemembers – especially those who never made it home.
If you drive through Walton County, you will find stretches of road named in honor of three local servicemen who gave their lives in defense of the country – Lt. Joseph Helton Memorial Parkway in front of Monroe Area High School in Monroe, Sgt. Michael Stokely Memorial Highway on a stretch of Highway 81, and Maj. W. David Gray Memorial Highway on a stretch of Highway 20. Helton was a graduate of Monroe Area High School and Stokely and Gray graduated from Loganville High School before they joined the armed services. All three ultimately lost their lives while serving in a combat zone. In 2019, Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez and Monroe Mayor John Howard decided to commission a Freedom trophy to be awarded to the winning team each year and named the game the annual Freedom Bowl.
Another tradition the two mayors honor is the loser gets to wear a sweaty shirt from the winning team. This is the third time Loganville and Monroe will play for the Freedom Bowl trophy, and despite Martinez’ optimism and prediction of a win for his team, home team advantage has not been the historical reality. Monroe took the first Freedom Bowl on Loganville’s turf in 2019 and Loganville took it back the following year at Hurricane Field in Monroe.
“I wish both teams good luck, but I believe with the talent, many returning players, and all star quarterback Loganville will dominate. 24-10. The beautiful Trophy will stay in the Ville for yet another year,” Martinez said.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Red Devil Stadium.