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America’s Oldest High School Rivalries in the Great American Rivalry Series

July 19, 2015

The 2015 Great American Rivalry Series will be featuring some of the oldest Rivalry Games in America. In the 2015 schedule, there will be six games that have been going on since the 1890s. We will be featuring historical overviews of many of these games throughout the season.  Here is a glimpse into the histories of some of these storied rivalries:

  • Pueblo Centennial vs. Pueblo Central (Colorado): This rivalry is noted as being the oldest high school football rivalry West of the Mississippi River. There were no games held from 1908–1920. The game resumed in 1921 and there have been multiple years in which the schools played twice. The game is now played at Pueblo’s Dutch Clark Stadium and is now known as “The Bell Game” as the winning school takes possession of an old train bell which was donated as a trophy in 1950.  Central leads the series with 54 wins to Centennial’s 45 and there have been 9 ties.
  • Louisville Male vs. DuPont Manual (Kentucky): Dubbed the “Old Rivalry” it is the oldest high school rivalry in Kentucky and the oldest rivalry west of the Appalachian Mountains. The rivalry item is The Barrel, painted with Manual’s “M” on one side and Male’s “H” on the other. Male dominates this series with 88 wins over Manual’s 44.  There have been 6 ties in the series.
  • Massillon Washington vs. Canton McKinley (Ohio): This annual battle has played since 1894. Typically the last game of the regular season, it is either played at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, or Fawcett Stadium, next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton. This game  has been featured in Sports Illustrated.  Massillon leads the series 64-51 with 5 ties.
  • Lower Merion vs. Radnor (Pennsylvania): This annual game has been played continually since its inception in 1897. Radnor High School grants the students of the school a half-day on the next school day if the school beats Lower Merion. However, the students of Lower Merion do not enjoy any similar reward.  Overall, Merion has won 56 games to Radnor’s 48.  There have been 11 ties in this 118 year series.
  • Middletown vs. Port Jervis (New York): This annual game is played for the Erie Bell from a railroad linking the two Orange County, NY cities. With 69 wins, Middletown leads the series. Port Jervis has won 55 times and there have been 7 ties.
  • Troy vs. Piqua (Ohio): This Ohio rivalry series has been played continuously since 1911 and after over 125 meetings, the series has remained remarkably close. In fact, Troy only has a one game advantage with 60 wins over Piqua’s 59.  There have been 6 ties in the series.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.