It was an ‘egg-cellent” day for Erwin resident Michael Scott as he claimed the first place honor and trophy in his age division at the Peters Hollow Egg Fight Sunday in Elizabethton.
Scott, a computer teacher in the Unicoi County School System, has been competing since 1975. This is the sixth first place win for him. He took first place in 1979, 1980, 1987, 2002 and 2003. In 2004 he claimed a second place victory.
Each participant is allowed six dozen hard boiled eggs. They draw numbers, which places their seating position around a circle. The winner from the previous year goes first and taps the egg of the person beside them. That person then taps the egg beside them and so on. An egg is out when it has been cracked on both ends and the contestant gets another one from their six dozen until all are gone, resulting in elimination.
“The circle kept getting smaller and smaller,” Scott said. “When I went down to four people I had six eggs left and the person beside of me broke three of them in a hurry.” After that, Scott was able to put one person out, leaving him to his last challenge, Matthew Baird.
“He (Baird) had an egg and he broke one of my two. I broke one of his and he pulled out another one and I broke it,” Scott said. He was then declared the winner and the crowd cheered his victory.
For Scott it is a tradition. “My grandfather, who was born in 1897, said that he went when he was a little boy. He said his daddy went. It’s been going back for a long time.
“When I was a little boy I remember going with a big ole basket of eggs. We always went to Peters Hollow every Easter Sunday right after church. When I was little, people would just be up and down all along the side of the road fighting eggs. At some point they organized it and limited people to so many dozen eggs,” Scott said.
“I always told momma ‘I want to egg fight, I want to egg fight.” She would say ‘You can’t. This is just for old men.’”
His mother never participated in the event but she helped him for years to prepare his “weapons,” he said.
Many of his relatives have won various divisions over the years. The tradition seems to be carrying on down for his family. Nephew, Owen Kamp, who is 2-and-a-half years old, participated in the younger age division on Sunday.
“I have only missed two my entire life,” Scott said. “One was when I was a senior in high school and we went to Disney World. Another year I went with some friends to see the Braves play. I kept thinking man I wish I was in Peters Hollow,” he said.
Scott says the best eggs are from the chickens that run wild or not kept in cages. Brown eggs are the hardest. “I got eggs this year from my secret source, which I cannot tell you about,” he laughed. “One of my students from Rock Creek also gave me some.”
A brown egg was Scott’s champion fighter this year. Out of 26 participants and 1,847 eggs cracked, he said it all still comes down to luck.