Footprints of The Shoe

Footprints of The Shoe

Written by Eli Swanson and Luke Hiserman

The Pacific Grove football team will meet its sworn enemy on Saturday, November 15, when the Breakers will visit the newly-renovated Carmel High School stadium in a clash of Mission Trail Athletic League titans.


The 67th regular-season meeting between the two Monterey Bay rivals comes after a 2013/14 season that saw Carmel win The Shoe and then lose to the Breakers in a high-scoring CCS semi-final rematch.Although The Shoe’s value seemed diminished following the unique events of last season, don’t expect this season’s contest to lack any intensity.


The two schools battle not only for bragging rights among neighbors, but also for a bronzed track shoe that belonged to former Carmel High teacher and athletic director Lloyd Miller.The aforementioned shoe was first awarded in 1948, a 33-0 shutout victory for Carmel. It took five years for Pacific Grove to taste victory in The Shoe Game for the first time, but the appetite for victory has been great ever since.


The rivalry remains dear to those who take part each year, including P.G.’s own Mr. Buller, who reminisces of past meetings. A tight game, the 1996 match-up ended on a punt return touchdown at the whistle for a thrilling 21-20 Breaker win. Memories of The Shoe game last forever for all those involved.


After 66 meetings, the teams stand level with 32 wins, 32 losses, and two ties apiece. In those 66 meetings, the two teams have amassed 2,687 points. Carmel is currently on a six-year regular-season winning streak, with the last victory coming at P.G. last fall in a tight game that finished 40-35 in favor of the Padres.


The Padres are just two victories away from equaling their longest winning streak, an eight-game stretch from 1957 to 1964.The Breakers will look to capture their first victory in The Shoe Game since a 2007/08 season that saw the Breakers march all the way to the then CCS Small School Final versus Santa Cruz.

Nothing would mean more to the Breakers than keeping The Shoe in the P.G. High office for the next year. The mutual respect shared between the two teams goes by the wayside for a few hours one night in November, but it is quickly regained no matter the result. Far from the blowouts from a few years ago, this year’s teams look very even when compared side-by-side. The Shoe is a tradition unlike any other on the Peninsula, and with both teams having recent success, it will continue for many years.


For the complete Shoe Game results, click here. For more on The Shoe click here.