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Lifestyles -

October 19, 2013

Friendly rivalry

Delhi, Walton traditions continue for more than a century


Ron McAdams and his buddy Jim Bell have been attending Walton/Delhi games since the 1950s. “All my life, I’ve been a Walton fan,” McAdams said, wearing a bright orange sweatshirt. “I got this sweatshirt in 1996, when the boys went to state.”

McAdams played football at WCS from 1953 to 1956. Jim Bell played in 1953. “The games are always close,” said McAdams. “The teams are not lopsided. The rivalry is a good rivalry. Clean. It’s good hard football. Always has been.”

McAdams and Bell recalled 1953. “We had cheerleaders back then,” said McAdams.

“In 1953, our Walton team won every game, and the other teams didn’t score against us,” said Bell. But what could have been a glorious season was cut short by tragedy. “The last two games had to be canceled because of a polio outbreak,” he recalled. 

“The Walton team had a good following,” McAdams said. “Playing Delaware Academy was always a challenge because our team strengths were even. When we played Delhi, I prayed more.”

Bell laughed and added, “We’ve been coming to the Walton/Delhi games all these years. The only time Ron misses a game is if he is so sick he can’t come.”

Up in the stands, dressed in black Walton football jerseys emblazoned with “78,” were Melanie Hren and Roland Finch. “My son, Jeremy, is No. 78,” Hren said. “We like coming to the games. I’m more into the sport now that my son plays. And the rivalry makes it lively. I like to cheer for the guys.”

“Yes, Melanie can cheer pretty loud,” Finch said.

On the field, the players dash and rumble and collide. Orange and black jerseys intermix with maroon and white jersey. The uncomplaining football gets jostled and thrown around.

On the other side of the field, the prominent colors of white and maroon can be seen on Delhi spectators. 

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