#TBT: End of an Era in Saginaw

October 23, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Michigan will wave farewell this weekend to one of its longest-running high school football rivalries as Saginaw High and Arthur Hill play one last time before one of the schools is closed in December.

The 120-year-old rivalry is tied for second-oldest in Michigan history, ranks third with 128 games played and first among rivalries between Lower Peninsula schools.  

The Saginaw News reported last month that the district’s Board of Education will vote on which to close in December after voting in July to shut down one of the two.

The schools – first called simply West Side and East Side – have met annually dating to 1894, save for four years – including in 1897 when it was deemed too large a mismatch and 1910 because of a smallpox outbreak. That fall marked the last the two didn’t play at least once – they played each other twice in 1895 and 1974.

Arthur Hill owns a 58-49 advantage in the series, and the teams tied 11 times. The Lumberjacks won last season’s Week 9 tilt, 43-22, but Saginaw holds a 12-8 edge over the last two decades.

Saginaw won the 1999 MHSAA Division 2 championship under coach Donald Durrett, while Arthur Hill claimed the Class AA title in 1991 under coach Jim Eurick and finished runner-up in 1992 – winning the 1991 game over Detroit Catholic Central 13-12 before losing to DCC in the following year's championship game rematch 21-20.

Sadly, both are finishing on softer notes; Saginaw has lost 16 straight games since winning on opening night 2013, while Arthur Hill has lost 13 of its last 14 with that lone win in between coming against the Trojans last fall.

Click to read select pages from the 1994 game program, itself a history book recalling a proud era in Saginaw history.

PHOTO: Arthur Hill defeated Saginaw 43-22 in last season's meeting between the longtime rivals. (Click to see more from