As you may have heard, Coloma vs Watervliet will play their final football game this year. This will be the 102nd meeting between the two schools, with a rivalry starting over 100 years ago. The two communities are close, in location and in family ties, will see their final game which abruptly announced this game will be the last.
With Coloma joining a new conference, the Wolverine, Coloma can play intra-conference games for their non conference games instead of what they have had to do in recent years, traveling to places like Hamilton High School, or having teams from Canada or Indiana come to McDaniel's Field. The downside is that the big game at the beginning of the year is gone. Sure, the rivalry isn't what it used to be, with the teams being a less than competitive in recent years, and the game traditionally being at the end of the year.
But its a shame to see the game go away forever. It is something I have looked forward to for the last 15 or so years, when I started going to Coloma games. I remember the 100th game, with the throwback jerseys, the introducing old players before the game and all the celebrations. Coloma won that contest, as they did my senior year game. Last year Coloma wasn't so lucky in the final game in Coloma, but I thought the rivalry would continue.
Working at the local grocery store, I remember talking to customers and coworkers about the game. Everyone was always really excited for it. There was always a lot of bragging going on. Sure, it was small town Michigan high school football, but the rivalry was real and intense, and a lot of rivalries can't say that.
Its terrible this game is ending. Its more awful that in 20 years, 30 years down the road, I will tell people about how when I was a young football fan, Coloma had a truly great and long rivalry with the team down the road.