The History Of Wyoming’s Paniolo Trophy Rivalry With Hawaii
When Wyoming football fans think of trophies, we picture the Pokes hoisting the Bronze Boot after another Border War win versus Colorado State. This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of another rivalry, as Wyoming and Hawaii battle for the Paniolo Trophy.
The former Western Athletic Conference foes first met in 1978. The Paniolo Trophy was created the following year by a group of Hawaii natives living in Wyoming. Named after the Hawaiian word for cowboy, the bronze trophy features a wrangler on horseback lassoing a bull with his lariat.
When Wyoming left the WAC for the Mountain West Conference in 1997, the rivalry dissolved and the original trophy was lost. The two schools used photographs to make a new trophy when the rivalry was renewed in 2013.
The Cowboys have the upper hand in the series, posting a 14-9 record through 23 meetings. Wyoming reclaimed the trophy in a 28-21 overtime thriller last year, after losing it in 2014. Other memorable games in the rivalry include 1988 when the 16th-ranked Pokes outlasted the Rainbow Warriors 28-22, a 66-0 blowout win in 1996, and a dramatic 59-56 victory in 2013.
For 5-1 Hawaii, reclaiming the Paniolo Trophy raises the stakes for Saturday night's conference showdown
"That would mean so much to not only me but my teammates and also this state I believe. I was there that last game when we played Wyoming and we got it taken away and just like the emotion all the of us had seeing them storm the field and it was just a feeling that really stuck with me," running back Fred Holly III told KHON-TV. "We're definitely going to have that in mind and bring that thing back home where it belongs."