Red and green celebrate a golden anniversary

October 29, 2006|by MARK KELLER

It's probably a safe bet that the majority of readers in Washington County have been to a high school football game at some point in their lives.

There's also a fairly good chance that a high percentage of those readers have seen one of the 49 North Hagerstown-South Hagerstown football clashes.

And given that North and South are the two largest schools in the county, it stands to reason that a large number of readers have been a part of the North-South game in some capacity at one time or another.

If you fall into the second or third category above, we want to hear from you.

The 50th North-South game will be played Nov. 10 at School Stadium. Beginning Nov. 6, we will celebrate the series by sharing your memories of the city series and taking a brief look back at the first 49 games.


If you'd like to share your memories of North-South past, simply send us an e-mail at and tell us what has made this series special to you. Or you can write a note and send it to us at The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

We have bumped the deadline for submissions back to Nov. 5.

Was it the spirit events in the week leading up to the game that you remember most? Pep rallies? Bonfires? Was it the game itself, or the performance of one player that still stands out?

It doesn't matter if you were a player in the game, a parent or a fan in the stands, a band member or a cheerleader. We want to hear from all sides so we can give plenty of different perspectives on the game.

How about those who have had their loyalties divided? Grandparents who have kids at each school? Parents who attended one of the schools and their children attended the other? I'm sure those are great stories.

We'll also give you a preview of this year's game as the teams try to break the 24-24-1 tie in the series record. And finally, we'll take a glance ahead to the 51st game, and the first to be played at Mike Callas Stadium on the North Hagerstown campus.

So take a few moments, allow yourself a trip in the wayback machine and send us those North-South memories. The series is rich with history, and your recollections will only enhance that history.

As a 1987 South graduate, I have a few memories of the North-South game of my own.

I never played in the game. It's been well documented here that I was a marching band guy in high school.

There are good memories that go with that, particularly lining up with the North band to play "The Star-Spangled Banner" and each other's fight songs as the teams took the field.

That was at the height of the North-South band rivalry, when we were trading state championships back and forth from one year to the next. So it was a pretty cool thing to be playing with them. Sort of a "We Are The World" moment.

But I digress. As for the game itself, two years stand out for me.

In 1982, the game was played on a freezing cold Saturday afternoon and South running back Dave Williams had the game of a lifetime. He was a second- or third-string running back who was pressed into the starting role and ended up running for 155 yards and a touchdown as South won, 15-6. Williams is just one of the many surprise heroes the North-South series has produced.

Then in 2000, both North and South entered the game with winnings records, one year after both came into the game winless. The game was played on a windy Friday night, which took away the passing game of the Rebels and quarterback Domonique Richmond. South led 6-0 at halftime, but North scored on the first drive of the second half and won, 7-6. It was Glenn Cross' last game as coach of the Hubs.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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