A vibrant tradition continues

Published 2:01 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Farmville is rich with history and long-running traditions, some of which extend to this day. Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC), founded in 1775, is a key contributor to this history, helping make this America’s first two-college town.

One of its traditions continued Saturday on the football field as the Tigers faced off against Randolph-Macon College in what is known as the Oldest Small School Rivalry in the South. This latest contest was the 121st edition of what has become more commonly known as “The Game.”

H-SC home football games are always filled with tradition, with spectators dressing up and occupying not just the stands, but the grassy hills surrounding Fulton Field and the rope line around the playing area itself.

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Saturday drew a bigger crowd than normal with Tigers fans turning out in force and a strong contingent of Yellow Jackets supporters doing the same.

Sometimes, it was hard finding an open spot to stand at the rope line and watch the action. H-SC supporters dominated one side of the field, curling around one end zone, while Randolph-Macon fans filled the smaller stands behind the visiting team’s sideline. They even staked a strong presence on a hill behind the other end zone.

The day belonged to the Yellow Jackets, winning 48-23, but even with the Tigers trailing in double-digits in the second half, H-SC fans could still be heard cheering hard to take it to Macon.

H-SC still leads the series between the two bitter rivals, 60-50-11.

As the college’s athletics website details, the teams first faced off against each other in 1893, when Randolph-Macon won 12-6. The Tigers avenged that loss in 1896 when they topped the Yellow Jackets 24-0.

Enjoyably, with both teams being part of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the conference title has been clinched at times through their contests.

TITUS MOHLER is sports editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is titus.mohler@farmvilleherald.com.