The countdown is on to 100 years of football

·2 min read

Jul. 20—This year marks the 100th anniversary of football in Haywood County.

Since football began in Haywood County, at least the rivalry between Canton and Waynesville, the United States has seen a world war, spaceflight and the Internet.

The very first meeting between Canton High School and Waynesville Township High School actually took place on Saturday, Oct. 18, 1922, long before the tradition of "Friday Night Lights."

The final score was 25-19, a Bears' victory.

According to a clipping from The Sunday Citizen the day after:

"There was considerable protest over some of the decisions."

It was a fitting conclusion to the very first game in what would become one of the "Great American Rivalries."

The crosstown rivalry was born that night in 1922, and has endured for nearly a century later.

A century of bad blood and good football will culminate in the 2022 matchup between Pisgah High School and Tuscola High School 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at C.E. Weatherby Stadium in Waynesville.

While it's not technically the 100th meeting between the two rivals (some years they played twice), it is the 100th year celebrating the tradition between the two teams.

To properly celebrate the historic occasion, The Mountaineer will publish a commemorative special section titled "100 Years of Haywood County Football" in mid-October, right before the annual county clash.

The publication will feature stories and photos about the greatest teams in county history, the coaches and players who fueled those seasons, the fans, cheerleaders and majorettes who cheered them on and folks who documented the historic runs.

The Mountaineer is also preparing in-depth features about three generation football families, pre-season camp from those who lived it and players in the pros.

Beginning in mid-August, the Wednesday sports section of The Mountaineer will feature some of these articles.

While many former coaches, players and fans have already jumped on board to help The Mountaineer make this a publication befitting such a storied rivalry, we know there are many people who have stories, photos and memorabilia they are willing to share.

The Mountaineer is seeking writers and storytellers to help us document the following topics: cheerleaders, officials, broadcasters, radio hosts and the marching bands.

If you are interested in sharing your story or sending in photos, contact Tyler Auffhammer, sports editor, via email at or call 828.452.0661 ext. 111