» By MARLON SCOTT – mscott@my.apsu.edu

The 2011-12 football season will be the fifth year of the Ohio Valley Conference’s Sgt. York Trophy Series.

Sponsored by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, the Sgt. York Trophy is only the second-traveling trophy for which more than two teams in college sports compete. The other is the Commander in Chief’s Trophy. The Army, Navy and Air Force teams compete for that trophy.

The four Tennessee schools in the OVC, Tennessee State University, APSU, Tennessee Tech University and The University of Tennessee at Martin, have competed for the trophy since it was created in 2007.

The trophy is named in honor of Alvin C. York, one of Tennessee’s most famous soldiers. York served in World War I, for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1919. He is also renown for the school he established to provide education to children who were denied the opportunity.

York died on Sept. 2, 1964. His institute and foundation are still in operation and a statue of him can be found outside the Tennessee State Capitol building in Nashville.

The team with the best head-to-head record in the Sgt. York Trophy series is awarded the trophy at the annual O’Charley’s Dinner of Champions hosted by the Nashville Sports Council in the spring.

In the event of a tie, two schools will share the trophy. However, if one of the schools is the previous season’s winner, that school will retain the trophy.

If the tie involves two schools who did not win the previous season, then the trophy will be awarded to the school who has gone the most seasons without winning the trophy.

The Govs have not won the trophy since the creation of the series. They are the only team in the series yet to do so. The closest they came to winning the trophy was in 2007, the inaugural year of the series.

That year they tied TSU with the most wins, but TSU was awarded the trophy because they defeated APSU when they played head-to-head.

TSU kept the trophy in 2008. In 2009, Tennessee Tech won the series. Undefeated in the series games last season, UT Martin was awarded the Sgt. York Trophy in March.
This season the Govs will play their first game of the series against TSU Saturday, Oct. 1. TAS