St. Ignatius College Preparatory and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory are the participants in the oldest high school athletic rivalry west of the Mississippi River. St. Patrick's Day in 1893 marked the start of this tradition when the two schools met in Central Park at Eighth and Market Streets for a rugby game; a game won by Sacred Heart, 14-4. Over the years that rivalry has flourished as the schools competed in a variety of sports in three successive leagues. The Bruce-Mahoney Memorial Trophy is symbolic of the SI-SHC rivalry. Established in 1947, it is awarded to the school which is victorious in league competition in three out of five sports each year: football, women's volleyball, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. (In volleyball, basketball and baseball, where the schools play more than one game, only the first league contest in each sport is counted.)
The trophy is named in honor of Bill Bruce (SI 1935) and Jerry Mahoney (SH 1944), representing the graduates of St. Ignatius and of Sacred Heart who gave their lives for their country in World War II. At SI, Bill Bruce was an outstanding student and a fine athlete, particularly in the sport of football. He was involved in many extracurricular activities, and he served as student body president. He joined the Navy at the start of the war and was killed in an airplane crash at the Naval Air Station at Pasco, Washington, on April 14, 1943. Jerry Mahoney was an outstanding football and basketball player at SH, earning All-City honors in both sports during his senior year. He joined the United States Naval Reserve after graduation and was aboard the merchant ship S.S. Henry B. Plant when it was sunk by a German submarine.
The trophy is awarded to the school which is victorious on the playing field or court, but in addition to athletic success it also recognizes the spirit and good sportsmanship which have been passed down from generation to generation of Wildcats and Irish. The Bruce-Mahoney Trophy is a prize which the students of both schools value as much today as their parents and grandparents did before them. And the rivalry between SI and SHC is as vibrant in the twenty-first century as it was in the nineteenth, when it all began.
For more information on the history of the great SI-SH rivalry, see the SI history.
The Gil Haskell Trophy was established by St. Ignatius College Preparatory and Archbishop Riordan High School in 2015 in honor of Gil Haskell ’61 and awarded annually to the winner of the varsity football game. Coach Haskell coached at both institutions: Riordan from 1965-68 and SI from 1972-77. Afterwards, his career would take him to other institutions where he enjoyed enormous success; Coach Haskell won two Rose Bowls with USC and a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers.
Both schools are proud to compete for a trophy with his name because he is a role model for all generations of Wildcats and Crusaders, and his work ethic, tenacity, and passion are representative of the best qualities in this long-standing San Francisco rivalry.
In 2015, the St. Ignatius student council coined the SI varsity men's basketball home game against Serra High School, “The Beach Game.” Traditionally, the game at Serra has long been called "The Jungle Game," with Serra decorating its gym and students dressing up in themed attire, so this game creates a second themed event in the SI-Serra rivalry. Students in the cheering section attend decked out in beach wear, sandals, sunglasses, and other beach-themed attire for a raucous night in McCullough Gymnasium.