New Aggie/Gamecock rivalry trophy has Bonham ties

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BONHAM, Texas -- When you think of college football rivalries in the Lonestar State, the University of Texas versus Texas A&M may be the oldest, but when the Aggies left the Big Twelve for the SEC, that rivalry came to an end. Thursday the Aggies are kicking off a new rivalry with a conference foe, the South Carolina Gamecocks, and the brand new trophy they're playing for has a Texoma tie.

The Texas A&M Aggies and the South Carolina Gamecocks are now cross-division rivals. They'll play against each other every season in the Southeastern Conference, and now, they'll play for this James Butler Bonham trophy.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic," said Chairman of the Fannin County Historical Commission, John Thornton.

"I love traditions, and this will be a new tradition, so I think it's great for everybody," said Bonham resident and Aggie fan Matt Andrew.

The namesake of Bonham, Texas was born and educated in South Carolina.

"He left and came down here, and as it worked out, he wasn't here very long, before the siege at the Alamo," said Thornton.

Thornton says Bonham was the last officer killed at the Alamo, "The fighting for the Republic of Texas was done out of pure desire."

Astatue of the Texas hero from South Carolina sits at the Fannin County Courthouse.

"He was an attorney, he didn't dress in buckskin, he wasn't like Davy Crocket. So he had more buckskin on in that trophy that he has in this one," said Thornton.

But the James Bonham trophy won't go home with the winning team. It will instead head to the Governor's Mansion of either Texas or South Carolina, depending on who wins the game that year.

Bonham Aggie fans tell us they'll be cheering on their team even more now, "Good luck A&M, gig em Aggies!" said Andrew.

And Thornton says it's also a good reminder to appreciate those who boldly sacrificed their lives at the Alamo.

"They didn't back down. That's the kind of Texas spirit we're all known for. I hope to keep it up," said Thornton.

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