75th ANNUAL TURKEY TUSSLE FOOTBALL GAME
In keeping with tradition Pasadena High School and John Muir High School will once again use all their energies to struggle for their school honor in the annual Turkey Tussle. The Turkey Tussle is the annual homecoming tradition between Pasadena High School and cross town rival John Muir High School. This tradition began in 1947 when the game was played between Pasadena Community College and John Muir Junior College. These two schools played until 1953. In 1954 the annual rivalry was played between what is now Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.
Possession of the Victory Bell is the prize for the winning school. The Victory Bell a long-standing tradition between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School came as a gift from the Santa Fe Railroad presented in 1955 at the pep ralley for the Turkey Tussle. The student body at PHS, which then shared the same campus with PCC, though the two were not affiliated, wanted to start many traditions which would last through the years. When it came time for the Turkey Tussle, they talked of having a bell.
Scott Fitzwater, Student Body President at that time and Jim Shelton, then Senior Class Vice-President, were instrumental in gaining the bell. Jim Shelton told his father, Raymond Shelton, of their idea and Raymond Shelton, General Manager for Santa Fe in Los Angeles at the time, was able to get the bell for PHS. The bell formerly rang from the top of an old steam locomotive and to Mr. Shelton's knowledge is the only one ever given to a school.
The bell was intended to be used, as it still is, as a perpetual trophy to rotate between John Muir High School and Pasadena High School, being kept for the year by the team that wins the homecoming game.
One of the highlights for the winning team is to rush to the end zone, celebrating their win by ringing the Victory Bell. In June 2005, the John Muir High School campus was burglarized and the Victory Bell was stolen. On February 7, 2006 the Victory Bell was found near a road in the Angeles National Forest.
In November 2007, a documentary about the Turkey Tussle was produced and featured on Fox Sports West cable channel. Although it didn't tell the entire story of the Turkey Tussle, it did showcase the cross town battle that has been going on for 60 years between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.