Rye's OG (Old Garnet) is giving all of us a history lesson on Rye football: THE RYE – HARRISON RIVALRY THROUGH THE YEARS – (‘29-‘13). Today is part two of six.
THE EARLY YEARS – (‘29-‘50)
Residents and students of Rye and Harrison may believe that the rivalry has grown in intensity, but those from the first few years of this cross-town rivalry would respectfully disagree. Starting with a 13-7 Harrison victory in the ‘29 inaugural game, Harrison quickly captured the first 4 games by a combined score of 43-7. Rye’s initial win in ‘33 was followed by “post-game hooliganism and fighting” (the Daily Item reported that estimated damages to the HHS goalposts were $17.79 – a princely sum in ‘33), and resulted in a 3-year suspension of the series allowing tempers to cool.
In the early years there were no team mascots – teams were identified by their uniform colors, with Harrison called the “Maroon and White”, and Rye wearing the unique “Garnet and Black”. The trend toward animate objects as team mascots began in ‘32 when Rye had a canine mascot named “Mac” while Harrison had a fierce goat patrolling its sideline.
Series play resumed in ‘37 with Harrison squeaking out a 6-0 win. In that year HHS students voted the “Husky” as their official mascot over all other candidates with the “Maroon Marauders” and “Red Raiders” receiving votes. Over the years, the traditional “Garnet and Black” evolved into the distinctive nickname – The Rye “Garnets”.
4 straight Rye wins from ‘42 to ‘45 brought the Garnets one game shy of .500 with the series standing at 7-6-1, but a late spurt by Harrison stretched the Husky advantage to 11-6-2 by ‘50.