This year marks the 51st annual Luther Bowl flag football tournament and will be played on the Gettysburg campus October 29th. This year also happens to be the last year that Lutheran Theological Seminaries at Gettysburg and Philadelphia will remain two separate institutions. LTSG and LTSP have had a long-standing rivalry in the Luther Bowl tournament, each year competing in a special game between the two schools with hopes of winning the “Common Cup” and a year’s worth of bragging rights.
In light of the venture to become one United Lutheran Seminary, the football teams of LTSP and LTSG have decided to play in separate brackets of the Luther Bowl tournament and retire the Common Cup this year. Instead, the team from LTSP will travel to Gettysburg the night before the tournament to play in a “mixed team” football game and enjoy fellowship around a campfire on Gettysburg’s campus. On the day of Luther Bowl, both teams will support each other as they compete in separate brackets of the tournament. The teams are also working to craft a liturgy for the retirement of the Common Cup that day.
Students expressed hope that retiring the Common Cup and the flag football rivalry between LTSG and LTSP will be yet another display of unity and fellowship between the two institutions as they come to together as one. “We are very excited to keep tradition alive while looking towards our united future with LTSG” said team captains Bridget Gautier and Seth Rumage. “We look forward to growing together in fellowship and supporting each other both on and off the field. This is one of the many ways both LTSP and LTSG are saying and demonstrating that we are in this together.”
Luther Bowl is a beloved tradition at both of our schools, said Laura Dunklin, one of the organizers for the Gettysburg event. “As we approached the tournament this year, we wanted to both respect the history of the rivalry and focus on building relationships for the future. The decisions we made for the tournament this year honor both of those goals. I’m proud of how our teams are supporting one another and the ways in which this fellowship reflects our new identity as we come together to form United Lutheran Seminary.”
All students from both schools said they hope that alumni from both schools will come out and show their support on Saturday, October 29th at Gettysburg.