Coal Bucket Rivalry: Too Much?

MOUNT CARMEL -- For more than 60 years now, this has been a football tradition: a battle for the bucket.

The annual Coal Bucket game between Mount Carmel Area's Red Tornados and Shamokin Area's Indians.

The winning team each year takes ownership of a prized coal bucket.

"I graduated in 1975 and we're still after the coal bucket!” said Mary Snyder of Mount Carmel.

But could the rivalry be getting out of hand?

Mount Carmel Township police issued stern warnings on the department's Facebook page after nearly a dozen calls for vandalism, mischief and disturbances related to the big game.

One post reads “A football game is not an excuse to disregard the law."

Another says “If you are caught damaging the property of another, you will be arrested."

"Yeah, with frozen eggs and stuff like that, it's really something that shouldn't be going on. I mean this is probably the worst I've seen it,” said Mount Carmel Area freshman Zach Camacho.

Jim Jurasich of Mount Carmel has had his property damaged before.

"It's always been a tradition. Even when I was back in high school, they, you know banners and flags and stuff like that team members would do their houses up and one side would go to one side and they would rip them down and it's almost part of the tradition of the game as far back as I can remember,” said Jim Jurasich of Mount Carmel.

Most people told Newswatch 16 the game is a harmless rivalry, one they look forward to and enjoy.

Some others say maybe taking the coal bucket out of it will make things better.

"I personally think that because of the bucket if they would worry less about the bucket, I do think the vandalism would start easing up,” said Jeff Sutsko of Shamokin

People may disagree on whether the tradition should change, but everyone we spoke with said the same thing about vandals who are caught.

“If they do vandalize, they should pay the price and they should do that. You teach your kids to respect everybody, respect everybody's property,” said Snyder.