GREENVILLE – Greenville will try to end its season with a victory against Sidney Friday night and retain possession of the Little Brown Jug, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, for a fourth consecutive year.
Greenville has the Little Brown Jug, a trophy that celebrates the more than 100 years of Greenville-Sidney football history but was lost for decades, having beaten Sidney 13-12 last year. The Green Wave also beat Sidney 50-33 in 2013 and 30-13 in 2014 to take possession of the trophy.
Sidney won the teams’ meeting 38-0 in 2012, a matchup that resumed the trophy battle after a 41-year break that included the Little Brown Jug going missing for more than 30 years.
The football rivalry between Greenville and Sidney dates back to 1899 and included annual Thanksgiving Day games from 1925-31, according to Sidney football historian Dave Ross.
In 1956 Sidney alumnus Frank Schlagetter created the Little Brown Jug, which was modeled after the trophy the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota have played for since 1903. The Yellow Jackets won the Jug that year, and the teams played for it each year through the 1971 season, after which Greenville changed leagues and the series was interrupted.
Sidney won the five meetings prior to 1971, but Greenville won that game and the right to possess the Little Brown Jug.
Greenville and Sidney resumed their rivalry in 1982 with the formation of the Greater Miami Valley Conference, but the Jug was missing and was not part of the game.
The Jug resurfaced in 2005 when the school building next to Sidney’s old Julia Lamb Stadium was slated for demolition. Following an auction at the school, brothers Charlie and Larry Cable discovered the Little Brown Jug in an old home economics classroom that also served as a press box for football games. Larry bought the Jug for $12 and kept it at his home for two years until Ross convinced him to donate it back to the school, where it was displayed in a trophy case until the Greenville-Sidney rivalry resumed when Greenville joined the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
Sidney won the Little Brown Jug when the trophy game resumed in 2012, but Greenville retook possession on Nov. 1, 2013, with a win against the Yellow Jackets. The Green Wave kept the trophy with their three consecutive victories and now will try to retain possession with another victory Friday night.
Greenville and Sidney enter this year’s game with identical 3-6 records. Both teams are 0-4 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American North Division.
The battle for the Little Brown Jug will take place beginning at 7 p.m. Friday in Sidney.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.