The romance of a good rivalry brings butterflies to the stomach. During the football season, intense loyalty and equal skill levels make for exciting games. For players and spectators alike, adrenaline flows and interest heightens. Sometimes bringing about unforeseen results.
Historically, Walton and Delhi schools have been nursing a longstanding rivalry on and off the field. According to Robert Russell in his recent history of the State University College of Technology at Delhi, the two schools made history when they first met on the gridiron more than 100 years ago.
Russell related an excerpt from article from the Delaware Republican on Nov. 5, 1892, that announced “A football game will take place on the Delhi fair grounds Saturday, November 12, at 2:30 p.m. between the Delaware Academy football eleven and the Walton High School eleven...It is the first regular game of football ever played in the county ... Several doctors with ample supplies of cotton, stretchers, etc., will be present.”
At a recent football game between the two contenders, cheering came from two bulging crowds centered on opposing sides of the field. But a thin row of onlookers wrapped around the outside of the field could be seen linking the two sides.
“We don’t know which side to sit on anymore, so we sit here at the end of the field,” Jan Miller said.
Miller and her daughter, Brenda Kilpatrick, were watching the Walton/Delhi football game together. “I graduated from Walton Central School, but Brenda and her two brothers graduated from Delaware Academy,” Miller explained. “Then, Brenda married a Walton man, and so now we come to the Walton side to cheer.”
Miller was cheering for her two grandsons, Austin Kilmer and Dillon Kilpatrick, playing with the Walton team.
“It’s odd cheering on the Walton side when I was use to sitting on the Delhi side,” Kilpatrick said. “Seems funny not sitting on the hill. But it’s a good rivalry and we like coming to the games.”