LITTLE SILVER – It is not the Lombardi Trophy, the Stanley Cup or a Green Jacket that Little Silver and Shrewsbury residents compete for every Black Friday. Nor is it a holiday gift they stand inline for hours trying to get super discounts on during the biggest shopping day of the year. It is The White Road Cup these two towns battle for every year while raising money for Lunch Break in Red Bank! But what is The White Road Cup?
The White Road Cup is an annual flag-football game between Little Silver and Shrewsbury raised-residents. You see, the only way someone can play in this game is if they graduated from Markham Place Middle School or Shrewsbury Borough School. The reason is, and these players will tell you it is because there is a unique relationship with the two towns that forms at an early age. As youngsters, children in Little Silver and Shrewsbury compete against each other in all sports and a rivalry is built up for almost a decade until their 8th grade graduations. More often than not, the majority of these children end up going to high school together at RBR, RBC or CBA and become teammates and friends. Sometimes even best-friends and these ‘rivals’ quickly feel like family members where long-term friendships are made lasting well after their high school years are over.
This football game, The White Road Cup provides these players with the opportunity to go back in time to when they were kids playing against each other. Little Silver Warriors vs Shrewsbury Tigers. The 14-year-tradition has its playful trash-talking, but it is truly a culmination of the friendships that are a part of this two-town family. Growing up in the two respective Boroughs you grow to love each other through many shared experiences such as the annual battle for who owns The White Road Cup. Just like White Road itself, geographically connecting Little Silver and Shrewsbury, The White Road Cup unites the residents of both towns through a bonding experience. It is important to note that this game is played every year on the border of the two towns (White Road).
This bonding experience was first organized and played in 2002 by teenage friends on a Friday afternoon following a Thanksgiving feast the day before. Those young boys from that first game in 2002 have grown into men over the years, just as this annual tradition between Little Silver and Shrewsbury has grown into a fundraising event benefiting the entire community. The White Road Cup partnered with Lunch Break many years ago and has been raising funds, food, and clothing for the organization every year. The players also volunteer at Lunch Break the week before Thanksgiving feeding breakfast to the Lunch Break clients.
Rick Brandt, the event coordinator talked about The White Road Cup and said, “All of the good that exists in Little Silver and Shrewsbury is represented by this annual football game and it is our hope that through our efforts together, we can tackle hunger in our community.” Brandt, along with his Little Silver teammates and Shrewsbury opponents collectively raised $10,000.00 and a truck full of food and clothing for Lunch Break this year. All of which, is presented to Gwen Love, Lunch Break’s Executive Director during halftime of the game.
Shrewsbury leads the rivalry in wins, but the true winner is Lunch Break. The Mayors from both towns and Principals from each school always represent their Boroughs during the pre-game coin toss while Fire, Police and First Aid trucks from the two towns line the sidelines with the hundreds of spectators who fill the park each and every year. You can learn more about this community event at www.TheWhiteRoadCup.com