VHS Tanager’s Ruminations

VHS Tanager's Ruminations The common opponents of the undefeated Vermillion High School Tanager football teams of 1995 and 1999 were West Central, Beresford, Lennox and South Sioux City � in addition to Madison and Winner whose series records were covered in the previous article.

The South Sioux City series was initiated in 1939 and was played continuously through 1955 with VHS winning nine, losing five and tying two. The teams met in 1968 and '69, splitting victories, and then resumed the series from 1975 through 1980; missed '81, '82 and '83; faced each other every year from 1984 through the century.

There was no love lost in this "close proximity" competition and the spaces of the years missing in the series can be associated with the necessity to "cool down" this bitter rivalry. Even the junior varsity games had an intensity of play � like a family feud.

The overall series record for Vermillion was 23 wins, 16 losses and two ties.

Another team that played the Tanagers in the 1930s was Lennox, who lost all three games in 1933, '34 and '35; then again in 1964. The series resumed in 1981 with a Lennox Oriole 8-7 overtime victory and has continued every year since.

The traditional Big 8 Conference foe has a six win, 21 loss record against VHS. As a district opponent, for the state high school playoffs, Lennox won once and lost twice against the Tanagers in early rounds. (Friendly rival!)

Two other teams who joined the schedule in 1981 were Beresford and West Central. Beresford went one win and four losses in the five games played in the '80s; then rejoined the series from 1992, annually through today. This is another "short drive up the road" series and might even involve family ties between the two teams' members. (Reverse David and Goliath rivalry, where Beresford exerts their ultimate effort in attempting to overcome Vermillion.)

The overall records: Vermillion eight, Beresford five.

Finally, West Central has proved to be our closest rival in team wins and losses. Beginning in 1983 through 1999, the two teams have faced each other in the state high school playoffs 11 times with the Trojans winning six and the Tanagers five.

In only seven seasons have the teams played once. The remaining 23 seasons they faced each other twice! It has become an accepted fact that the second game each season will determine the Class 11A champion.

Overall records: Vermillion 17, West Central 13. (Arch rival!)

Next article I plan on covering the highlights and team/individual honors for the first perfect season � 1965.

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