In this year of uncertainty, any sign of normalcy is fully embraced by all. High school football is one such tradition that stirs up positive feelings for so many in Port Clinton and Oak Harbor. Those feelings seem to be amplified in the days leading up to that one Friday night each autumn when the long-standing Oak Harbor/Port Clinton gridiron rivalry is renewed.
Mayors Quinton Babcock of Oak Harbor and Mike Snider of Port Clinton have agreed once again to make a friendly wager on the outcome of the annual Rockets and Redskins’ pigskin classic.
The mayor of the losing school will serve pizza to the opposing team’s senior class members while dressed in the victorious school’s colors.
It is hoped that the mayors will be permitted to watch the first half of the game from the bleachers of the opposing team, crossing over at halftime to rejoin their hometown team and cheer them on for the remainder of the game.
Mayor Snider is looking for a better outcome for this year’s matchup.
“I felt really good last year,” said Snider. “The Skins had the home field advantage and, yet, I still had to deliver pizzas, soda and cookies to Oak Harbor High School.
“I just hope this year Mayor Babcock can keep the pizza warm when he has to make that journey down State Route 163!”
Mayor Babcock has a slightly different perspective on the game and the possible outcome.
“The Rockets have been working hard. Our boys have a very hearty appetite, and I’m sure the extra pepperoni will be added motivation for them,” said Babcock. “Besides, after last year, Mayor Snider is quite familiar with the route to Oak Harbor. I look forward to his return trip after the game.”
Friendly banter aside, both mayors agreed the bet is about recognizing the history of this rivalry and the meaning this game has to both communities and their respective fan base.
This year, Oak Harbor will host Port Clinton for the rivalry football game on Friday, Oct. 2, with a 7 p.m. kick-off. Current COVID-19 protocols limit attendance to 15% of the stadium’s posted seating capacity.