One of the reasons the Great American Rivalry Series chose this iconic rivalry as our 1000th game is because of its rich history. Starting in 1894, the Massillon McKinley game has brought some of the most exciting games and largest crowds to high school football. In the weeks leading up to the rivalry, the communities celebrate with giant parades, spirit week festivities including blood and food drives, joint gatherings of the two teams and bonfire rallies the night before the game.

Many coaches and players have gone on to remarkable college and professional careers. From this Rivalry, 50 players have been drafted into the NFL, accounting for 13 Super Bowl championships. 5 have gone on to become coaches in the NFL and two have been enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The rivalry has roots in commerce rather than sports. In the 1800s the Ohio-Erie Canal used to transport farm goods and commodities to market was routed through the center of Massillon and thus the town became the hub for commercial activity in Stark County.

GARS 1000th Game 2021


Darrius McElroy
Massillon High School


Nicholas Hatheway

Massillon High School

Besides playing Tiger football, Nicholas is a varsity wrestler, member of National Honor Society, National Vocational Technical Honor Society, DECA, E-Commerce/Marketing, Ecology club and Spanish Club. He holds a 3.94 GPA and is also an altar server at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Stefan Monahan

Canton McKinley High School

Stefan is a 3 year letterman of the McKinley Football Program and a 1 year letterman of the McKinley Wrestling Program. He has been named to the First Team in the Federal League, District, Stark County, and Third Team All Ohio. Stefan was also awarded the Charlie Bowersox Most Valuable Player and was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year after his Junior season. Stefan holds a 4.58 GPA and will graduate from McKinley High School in May with both a high school diploma and two Associates Degrees from Stark State University.


In the Great American Rivalry Series 1,000th Game, Massillon scores 28 unanswered to win 35-13. Darrius McElroy scores 2 touchdowns in today's victory and claims MVP for today's game! The Massillon Tigers improve to 8-2 and the Bulldogs of McKinley fall to 6-4.