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 one of six.
WESTCHESTER’S PREMIER HIGH SCHOOL RIVALRY
As the heat and humidity of summer yield to crisp autumn weather and the leaves take on a palette of gold, brown, orange, maroon and garnet, it can only mean one thing for the townspeople of Rye and Harrison – the renewal of the classic Garnet – Husky football game. An ‘89 countywide Gannett Suburban Newspapers poll ranking local high school football rivalries unanimously confirmed the Rye/Harrison Game as Section One’s premier showcase game, and it remains so to this day. While not played in ’04, otherwise the intensity of “The Game” has not skipped a beat even after the 67-year string of consecutive games was interrupted. With the pre-season expectation of playoff teams in both communities pulses will be elevated when the Garnets and Huskies lock horns for the 84th time on September13th.
Both communities enthusiastically support and rally behind their beloved Garnets and Huskies as the calendar creeps toward “The Game”. “Hell Week” double-session practices evolve into early season games where the coaching staffs fine-tune offensive sets and defensive counters in preparation for the annual test of wills. School and community spirits run high as game day approaches with traditional in-school Harrison Week/Rye Week activities culminating in parades, Friday night pep rallies and bonfires in each town.
Coordinating and supervising the logistical elements of the rivalry game, and most importantly, insuring the safety of all involved is a significant challenge requiring the cooperative efforts of school and municipal administrators, police, fire and EMS personnel, service organizations, merchants and a myriad of volunteers from both Rye and Harrison. With past crowds of over 10,000 die-hard loyalists and curious fans from other Westchester communities, fan behavior is of utmost importance and concern. Thanks to the Rye and Harrison communities for valuing the rivalry, keeping it in proper perspective and maintaining its history for future generations. With cooperation and a levelheaded approach to the game, the rivalry will continue to its Centennial in 2030 and beyond.