VHS Tanagers Ruminations

VHS Tanagers Ruminations By Jim Prosser During nearly a three quarter century of VHS football seasons it can be expected that traditional rivalries could develop and would be a part of the successes (and/or failures) in the won-loss record of each annual campaign.

The competitors might be categorized as: friendly, common, arch, or bitter rivals! Some could almost look like a family feud while others often appear like the "David and Goliath" syndrome.

Of the three undefeated Tanager football teams, only two common opponents were on the schedule for each year � Madison and Winner.

Madison was on the 1930s, '40s, '60s, '80s, and '90s schedules and had a five win – 31 loss record (friendly rival).

Canton played 50 games over the years and in the '30s and '40s they demonstrated the David and Goliath syndrome by losing every game in those two decades (11 of them).

They were only on the schedules of the undefeated 1965 and 1995 VHS teams, but the real traditional bitter rivalry commenced in 1959 when Canton won 19-13 at Canton for their first victory in the series, and Vermillion "waxed 'em" 32-7 in 1960 when, at the end of the game, the opposing coach, meeting in the midfield of the Prentis Park football facility, remarked "You're not that good!"

Throughout the '60s to the '90s (with a four year space from 1974-77) the record for Canton was 14 wins-24 losses and one tie (arch rival).

The Winner High School series was initiated in 1956 and continued annually through 1967, suspended two years, then resumed continuously 1970 through 1983 after which competition was halted until 1990 when the State Championship games found the traditional foes matched up in four of the finals. Winner lost three after having won the first in 1981. In the 36 games played in the series, Vermillion was victorious 31 times while losing only five (friendly rival) but there were many close scores and the weather often was a contributing factor.

Probably the most heated rivalry during the 61 years the teams competed was the Goliath (Yankton) vs. David (Vermillion) series, with the Tanagers winning 13, losing 47, and achieving a 0-0 tie in 1939. The 1995 undefeated season was inaugurated by a 6-0 win on the traditional season opening match-up and represented the midpoint of an 18 game winning streak for VHS which had begun after a loss to the Bucks in 1964 and was terminated by the first 1966 season 6-7 loss to the (bitter arch-rival) Yankton.

Note: The series ended in 1991 due to scheduling conflicts involving conference commitments � and the atmosphere between the combatants, today, probably would be relegated to the "family feud" category.

The next article will cover those teams that were common opponents in the 1995 and 1999 "perfect seasons."

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