Wausau East beats Wausau West in annual Log Game

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Since 1970, Wausau East and Wausau West high schools have battled it out on the football field in the annual Log Game. The winning team gets the coveted Wausau Log, which is a slice of a large tree log.

The winner gets a plaque added to the log with the final score of the game. Since 2013, the Wausau West Warriors haven't had to give the traveling trophy to East. Last year, they beat the Lumberjacks 49-7.

"It's exciting, the kids get very excited this week. I know today was kind of a day where they had a lot of excitement in the building. It always raises things to a different level when you play the cross-town rival," said Mike Pernsteiner, Athletic Director of Wausau East.

The Log Game dates back to 1970, when a local family created the log trophy as part of a fundraiser to help pay for exchange students to come to the USA.

"I actually have the original football from that game in my office. Somebody dropped that off because apparently East won that first one so we got that," said Pernsteiner.

This year was no different, as the community continued to come out and support the two high schools.

"It's really a neat thing, there's a lot of tradition here in Wausau and that's one of them," said Pernsteiner.

"Whether you've won a lot in a row or you haven't, tonight is a big night and you can see it in the kids," said Brian Miller, the Athletics and Activities Director at Wausau West.

The rivalry runs deep, even though for some, it's their first Log Game experience.

"Anytime city rivals play, no matter what the sport is, I think it brings people to a new level and I think the game gets more competitive," said Pernsteiner.

"This is my first week as athletics and activities director so, what a week to start! I get homecoming at West and a Log Game on top of it," said Miller.

No matter who wins or loses or gets to add their name to The Wausau Log, it's an experience the whole community loves.

"In my past experience, rivalries are a lot of fun for the kids and a lot of fun for communities," said Miller.

"It brings the whole community out for football. Some people that maybe don't come out on a typical Friday night will be here and paying attention to football. Giving our kids some of that flavor of a big rivalry game, so it's a big deal," said Pernsteiner.

Friday night was also Wausau West's Homecoming, although Wausau East acted as the home team. There is one tie game on the log trophy, from 1971.

Since them, Wausau West has won the majority of the match ups and has housed the log trophy since 2013.

But that streak came to an end Friday night, as Wausau East won 14-7, adding a little more red to The Wausau Log.