A Century in the Making: DeRidder, Leesville meet for 100th time Friday night

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Dragons and the Wampus Cats are going head to head for the 100th time.

All time scores for every DeRidder vs. Leesville Football Game.

All time scores for every DeRidder vs. Leesville football game.

LEESVILLE – The anticipation has been brewing since 2019.

The 100th meeting of the annual battle between the DeRidder Dragons and the Leesville Wampus Cats, which was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Wampus Cat Stadium.

Although this rivalry began way back in 1910, according to all available records, since 1962 it has been known as the Battle for the Hooper Trophy.

In 1962, L.S. "Buck" Hooper, a graduate of Leesville High School, and his wife, Agnes Lewis Hooper, a DeRidder graduate, decided to donate a trophy for the football rivalry. They also determined that the school winning the most games over a 10-year period, or the first team to win six games, would take permanent possession of the trophy for its school.

The winning team each year will hold temporary possession of the trophy.

Leesville captured Hooper Trophy Series I for the seasons from 1962-72, while DeRidder won Series II for the years 1973-79. Leesville won Hooper Series III from 1980-87, while DeRidder captured Series IV, 6-4.

After the passing of "Buck" Hooper, the principals of the schools, at the time Bob McLamore of DeRidder and Richard Reese in Leesville, decided to continue the series with the two schools buying the trophy.

According to records, DeRidder leads the overall series between the schools, 56-39-4. However, since the inception of the Hooper Trophy, Leesville owns the edge at 31-26-1.

Leesville currently leads Hooper Series VII, 3-2, with DeRidder winning the most recent game between the two in 2019, 24-21.

Since 1962, there have been three games between the schools that did not count in the series. In 1963, DeRidder defeated Leesville in a bi-district playoff game, 34-19. Leesville won the other two playoff games between the schools – 29-0 in 1995 and 34-20 in 2010.

In 2005, the game was not played when Hurricane Rita forced the cancellation of the contest due to widespread damage and power outages in the area. Additionally, the game scheduled in 2020 was wiped out due to one of the teams having been quarantined due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The longest winning streak for the Dragons in the Hooper Trophy Series was six games, all of which occurred in Series II, although DeRidder had a 9-game unbeaten run, which featured a tie in 1973.

Leesville's longest winning streak in the Hooper Trophy Series is 10 games, lasting from 1998-2008.

Currently, Leesville owns a 3-2 advantage in Hooper Trophy VII. DeRidder won the opening game of the series in 2015. Leesville followed with three straight victories before the Dragons claimed the win in 2019.

In all, Leesville won Hooper Trophy Series I, III, V and VI, while DeRidder was victorious in Series II and IV.

This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: A Century in the Making: DeRidder, Leesville meet for 100th time Friday night