St. Paul’s/Covington: The Story Behind the Brown Jug

Although the real jug now resides at Covington High School until it comes up for grabs next football season, miniature replicas of each successful year can be found on the desks of Head Football Coach Ken Sears and Athletic Director Craig Ketelsen. (photo by Christi Simoneaux)

St. Paul’s and Covington High School have been battling for the coveted Brown Jug for over 80 years, and the rivalry is stronger than ever as they continue to compete each year to demonstrate which football team runs the city of Covington.

“Winning the jug is a great accomplishment and shows how much hard work we put into preparing for the football season,” said Ken Sears, Head Coach of the St. Paul’s Wolves.

The tradition of the Brown Jug started in 1935. The two teams competed for the jug in the years of 1935-1974, again in 1997 and 1998, and from 2002 to present.

St. Paul's football team getting ready run out against Covington.  (Photo by David Grunfield)
St. Paul’s football team getting ready run out against Covington. (Photo by David Grunfield)

According to St. Paul’s Athletic Director Craig Ketelsen, these two teams did not play against each for many years because the rivalry became too heated and both schools were vandalizing each other. So, both athletic directors decided to cancel the series in the 1970s and did not begin competing again until the late 1990s.

Clearly, feelings run deep between the two schools, whose football rivalry goes back almost 100 years, although there was a 27-year hiatus before 2001 because of fears those emotions might have been running too high.

Jack Salter Stadium during the SPS/Covington game in 2013. (Photo by David Grunfield)
Jack Salter Stadium during the SPS/Covington game in 2013. (Photo by David Grunfield)

The Brown Jug is a memorable piece of the two Covington teams’ rival history, and will remain so for many years to come. St. Paul’s has owned the series with cross-town rival CHS in recent years, winning the jug every year since 2004, until Covington recently captured the jug this season, ending SPS’s nine-year reign.

At the start of this rivalry, Covington dominated the series, winning almost every year until St. Paul’s moved up to 5A and finally started winning in the early 2000s.

“We knew we could compete with this Covington High team back when we went to 5A in 2001,” said Sears.

This past meeting between SPS and Covington was something that Covington players will never forget. In addition to winning the jug, the Covington Lions snapped the St. Paul’s consecutive 33 district game winning streak this season, which puts next season’s game as a revenge match-up for St. Paul’s.

When both Sears and Ketelsen were asked their most memorable St Paul’s/Covington match-up they both agreed that defeating Covington in 2004 for the first time in 32 years was their most memorable moment.

These two teams will keep up this high school tradition for years to come, continuing to bring excitement to district play and hopefully producing more fantastic finishes.



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