One of the nation's oldest and most distinctive high school rivalries will be renewed tonight when Baylor meets McCallie at Finley Stadium.
Baylor's Red Raiders are ranked eighth in the latest state poll, while McCallie was ranked earlier this season and is on the cusp of the state's top 10 again following two straight wins.
"The rivalry is unique because it has gone on so long," said McCallie coach Ralph Potter, who also has coached at Baylor and returned to his alma mater this year from Brentwood Academy. "The school is so involved, and that makes it different than any I've experienced at another school."
According to Times Free Press records, the first Baylor-McCallie game was played in 1908 and resulted in a scoreless tie.
"It's really a community event more than just a football game," Potter said. "We have great fan support every week, but this week takes on a life of its own."
Baylor has won the last four meetings, including one each in the regular season and the playoffs in 2010.
"I have coached at four different schools and every school has a rivalry, but none compare to the Baylor/McCallie game," said Phil Massey, the Red Raiders coach who has taken his team to the last two Division II-AA title games. "The difference is the alumni involvement from each school. Most school rivalries surround the kids that are presently in school. This rivalry reaches far beyond just the student body."
Tickets are on sale today in McCallie's athletic office. They will be available at the Finley Stadium box office starting at 5 p.m.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...