One Knoxville SC announces Lexington SC rivalry trophy

More than just bragging rights will be on the line when these two soccer clubs meet.
One Knoxville SC announces Lexington SC rivalry trophy
One Knoxville SC announces Lexington SC rivalry trophy(One Knoxville SC)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:34 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - One Knoxville Sporting Club has a new rival: Lexington SC. The scruffy city’s professional soccer team announced Wednesday that there will be more than just bragging rights on the line when the two clubs meet on March 18, kicking off their respective seasons.

Also on the line will be a barrel and a bottle. Whichever team wins the aggregate three games to be played between the clubs will get a full-size whiskey barrel and a bottle of bourbon from the losing club’s state.

One Knox Partner Drew McKenna said he’s excited for the rivalry.

“Knoxville and Lexington have a long - mostly friendly - history as sporting rivals. To be starting our professional club history against our friends up north is a treat,” said McKenna. “We’re looking forward to a great inaugural game on Saturday and to hoisting the whiskey barrel after winning the season series later in the summer. Finally, thanks to Company Distilling for their partnership and support. Win or lose, we’ll send Lexington home with a bottle of Company. Like most things, bourbon is better in Tennessee.”

Lexington SC COO Steven Short is confident the Kentucky club will put up a good fight, though.

“There are already decades of history between our cities and states across the sporting landscape,” said Short. “As expansion clubs in USL League One, launching in the same season, we are thrilled to add our own traditions to those colorful rivalries while providing fans on both sides of the state line the opportunity to travel to the entire series. We are excited to launch this competition in Knoxville Saturday and expect this to be one of many additions to our trophy cabinet.”

Should there be a tie at the end of the three games, goals scored will serve as a tiebreaker.

It isn’t the first time a barrel has been on the line when Tennessee and Kentucky teams meet on the field (or in this case, pitch). The University of Tennessee and Kentucky had a history of passing their own barrel back and forth, a tradition that began in 1925.

Learn More: Where is the Tennessee-Kentucky Beer Barrel?

Looking to get involved? Both clubs will be starting a fan-lead naming campaign for the rivalry over the course of the season.